Thu, 04/24/2014 – 1:01 | No Comment

In this issue of Attached Family, we take a look at the cultural explosion of breastfeeding advocacy, as well as the challenges still to overcome. API writer Sheena Sommers begins this issue with “The Real Breastfeeding Story,” including …

Read the full story »
1. Pregnancy & Birth

Fertility and conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and the early postpartum period.

2. The Infant

From newborn to 17 months.

3. The Toddler

From 18 months to age 3.

4. The Growing Child

From age 4 to age 9.

5. The Adolescent

From age 10 to age 18.

Home » Secondary Attachments: Fathers, Grandparents & Other Loved Ones

Tips for New Fathers in Bonding with Their Newborns

Submitted by on Saturday, November 8 2008No Comment

By Nancy Da Silva

The most important thing for new dads to remember is that they are not competing with moms for baby time or for the baby’s favor.

While bonding will happen more quickly between mothers and their infants, there are things dads can do to build their relationship with the new baby from day one:

  • Be tactile - Babies are comforted through the sense of touch. Pitching in during bath times, massaging the baby, and holding the baby against your chest will all succeed in fostering a warm, strong connection between the two of you.
  • Make eye contact - If you’ve been talking to the baby since he was still in the womb, he’ll be familiar with your voice. Holding him in your arms, so that you can look down at him while you speak and he can look up at you, will help him associate that voice with your face and make him feel safe and loved.
  • Share doctor duty - Taking over some of the doctor’s visits will not only earn you points with your wife or partner but will help you gain info on your baby’s overall health. It will give you the opportunity to help pitch in if the doctor offers any suggestions for any necessary treatments.
  • Share diaper duty - Parenting is a messy business, and while some fathers feel it is the mother’s responsibility to take care of the less enjoyable end of baby care, they’re missing out. A crying, uncomfortable baby who is soothed by a clean diaper and clean clothes will associate that soothing, comfortable feeling with you. Bonding with your child takes work, and in this case, you’ve got to just jump in and get your hands dirty. The baby will benefit, and so will you.
  • Sing - Music is the universal calmer. If you want to bond with your child, hold her close and sing them a lullaby while rocking them, or look down at them in the crib and sing to your heart’s content. When the baby is stressed, he’ll associate you, along with his mother, as someone who will make him feel better.
  • Schedule some Daddy time - Despite the fact that the new mother will be suffering from sleep deprivation, you might find some opposition when you put forth the initial idea for some alone time with the new baby. Mothers may feel uneasy with passing them off to someone else, even if it’s just for a few hours, even if it’s you. This is why pitching in with little tasks is so important. It shows the nervous mother that she can trust you to know what you’re doing. Respect her nervousness, but assure her that the two of you will make an even better team if you can share parenting responsibilities and that giving her some free time will be beneficial for both of you. You can get to know your baby and your baby can get to know you, so that if Mommy needs a break, you can take over with minimal fuss on the part of the child.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.