8 Ways Dad's Can Bond With Their Newborns
I don’t think it can be argued that have come a long way. If we went back 50 years to the 1960s and with the industrial revolution roaring away and just starting to pick up momentum. The vast majority of young Dads hardly saw their kids.
Most of them were working all the hours including overtime to provide for their family. Oftentimes, in a kid’s early years, Dads can feel a bit excluded since initially it’s more important for mother’s to bond with their kid’s than Dads.
The following tips should provide a few ways for Dads to bond with their kids.
This one might sound quite obvious, but, connecting fathers and their newborns early on is probably the best option out of them all. Not only does it allow both to bond simultaneously, it’s proven to create an early bond. Dr. John Klaus and Phyllis Klaus, in their book, "Your Amazing Newborn" state that when most Dads are given the opportunity to make eye contact and spend a lot of time with their newborn in the first few months after birth they are able to cement a much stronger bond than Dads who don’t. In fact, when the mother takes their first shower, this is the perfect time for the Dad to share early bonding time with their newborn.
Skin to skin
With so much technology around us a in the weird and wonderful clothing we can purchase now, we sometimes forget how important the simple things in life are. One of these things is skin to skin contact.
Did you know that there are several benefits with skin to skin contact such as stress reductions, temperature regulation, stabilisation of blood sugar and the release of Oxycontin?
The more skin contact Dads have with their children early on the better both will be. That’s why it’s so relaxing for fathers when they take their shirt off to cuddle their newborns.
A series of chain reactions start within our bodies and Oxytocin is released. Again, doing this very early on in the relationship really helps with the bonding process.
Singing to baby
This might sound like the weirdest point in the list, but there’s no reason why fathers shouldn’t sing to their babies before they are born and then sing the exact same song to them when they are born.
Not only will this be really familiar to their newborn, but, it will also help soothe their newborn. You can either have a variety of different songs or just one special one.
Bathing with baby
OK, we previously talked about skin to skin contact, so it makes sense to include Dads bathing with their Kids.
Newborns love nothing better than to be cuddled and cradled by their parents. And, even though they don’t need frequent bathing, by Dad having a bath in body temperature water with their newborn on their chest is a great way to relax and more importantly, bond.
Being next to their Dad makes them feel safe and secure and there’s no better time than this to have some real quality time with them.
The only advice we would give is to ensure that there are two adults there to handle the kid if the father is getting out of the bath. Kids can be quite slippery. Remember, it’s always best to be safe and than sorry. Safety first.
Depending on where you work and the number of hours you work, you should be entitled to paternity. Some parents take it and some don’t. However, we would recommend that you absolutely take it. This is a like added holiday bolted on your existing holiday and you Dads can use this time to get better acquainted with their newborn and also give Mum a rest from it all.
I must admit, that term sounds more of an Americanism than anything doesn’t it? But, I guarantee you it’s definitely a “thing”.
Babywearing provides a fantastic opportunity for Dads to connect and bond with their newborns.
So what do we mean by Babywearing exactly?
There are certain garments that can be purchased that allow parents to keep their kids close and literally carry them around. This makes it extremely practical to get tasks done around the house, go out shopping and then have the added benefit of helping with the bonding process.
When they first came out, Dads were scared to wear them because they felt like they looked like idiots. However, with so many different styles, shapes and sizes of these babywearers they’re now a lot more acceptable.
I bet this is a point you didn’t think you would see in the article, but we’re talking marathon running here. We could talk about simple walks around the park, putting them on the back of your bike while you go for a bike ride and even swimming.
They recommend that you should introduce water to your kid quite early so they get used to being around it and won’t be scared of it.
This can either be a joint effort or Dad can go on his own with his newborn. Not only will everyone get some great exercise but it also helps with the bonding process. The more dad can be around at this stage the better the bonding process will be.
Parenting - not babysitting
The whole “babysitting” term when mother’s mention Dads taking care of their kids really has to stop. Dads don’t babysit their own kids. A niece or nephew babysits, Lucy 5 doors down babysits. Dads do not. If spending time alone with your child has to come under anything, I would say it’s called “parenting”.
Don’t get me wrong, I can see how easy it can be to slip into this term when Dad has seen much of the newborn, but unfortunately, it sets an invisible precedent and puts Dads into the wrong state of mind when they hear this.
There are no more babysitting than the mother is. The newborn is both their responsibility and by including this term in our language we’re kind of stating that the Dads involvement isn’t that important and it’s more or less fleeting.
This really should be the case and I think, removing this term completely helps Dad know exactly where he stands and what his role is in the upbringing of their kids.
By removing this term, it’s much easier for Dad to try and bond with their newborn when we replace that word with “parenting”. It also allows them to become much more involved in the bonding process rather than being on the sidelines so early on in the newborn's life.