5 Ways Dads Can Bond With Baby

Amy Jo Jones

Dad BabyHas this ever happened to you? You've spent all day with your baby and all you want to do is take a shower. Your husband or partner is ready and willing to take over. But as soon as you try to make the hand-off, your baby realizes what's about to happen and starts to cry hysterically. 

It can be challenging to create a deep connection between dad and baby in the first weeks or months of a baby's life, especially when the mother is the primary caregiver.

Here are 5 things you can do to help foster the dad and baby bond.  

1. Don't be a helicopter mom: I admit it: I like to hover. I mean well, but it's hard for me not to jump in if I hear Rowan crying. Hand the baby over to dad and walk away. Take a shower, go run an errand or at least leave the room. They need to get to know each other and both of them will be fine.

2. Encourage dad to baby wear: I don't know a lot of fathers who will enthusiastically wear a baby sling, but there are lots of other carriers that work well for moms and dads. Encourage your partner to wear the baby out and about so they can participate in some physical closeness.

3. Share the night shift: If you are breastfeeding, hand the baby over to dad to do the burping and go back to bed. If you're bottle feeding, take turns. It's important for baby to learn that dad can comfort them just as well as mom can.

4. Have dad read the sports page to baby: Babies love the sound of voices. It doesn't matter what you read even if it's the scores from yesterday's games.

5. Let dad take baby out to well check visits: Babies require lots of doctor visits. These are great opportunities for dads to keep up with all the changes that happen in a newborn and prepare him for what to expect next.

Does your baby take to one parent more than the other? What do you do to help dad feel close to baby?

Image via spigoo/Flickr

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