40 Heart-Melting Images of Dads Meeting Their Babies for the First Time

Judy Dutton | May 22, 2018 Pregnancy
40 Heart-Melting Images of Dads Meeting Their Babies for the First Time

dad meets baby
Ashley Marston Birth Photography

Few moments in life are as moving as when moms give birth and meet their baby for the first time ... but what about dads? Although this initial meet-and-greet between father and infant is rarely as celebrated, it's just as emotional. After all there is an old saying that notes women become mothers the moment they are pregnant, and men because fathers the moment they hold their child. Capturing that meet-and-greet makes for some of the most magical moments. So grab the tissues, because the moment men transform into dads is simply incredible! It's time to watch these stoic male creatures melt into jelly as they take us along with them.

As one photographer so eloquently put it: Moms tend to feel bonded to their babies throughout the pregnancy, but the love often doesn't hit dads until they're staring into their newborn's eyes. As a new dad sees and finally gets to hold his baby in his arms for the first time, it sinks in -- I am a father. This is my child. That's what makes these images so powerful and emotional to see -- consider this an ode to fatherhood from the moment it begins.

Check out these 40 beautiful dad-meets-baby shots captured by several amazing birth photographers who are able to witness these intimate moments of families growing. Not only do they capture the emotions of a man who has just seen the woman he loves do something incredible, but also the moment he morphs into a proud parent. Dad only gets to meet baby for the first time once, so these images are true gifts, and we are so lucky we get to share in them. 

Birth photography
Benzel Photography

  • The Moment Moms Miss


    "This dad is holding his newest little girl for the first time," says photographer Jessica Heksem. "One of my favorite moments to capture -- after Mom's face after the birth of their baby -- is Dad's reaction. This is something that most moms don't see because they are having their own bonding moments, so to catch those loving smiles that they have just melts my heart!"

  • Safe in Dad's Arms


    "This image was taken right after this dad witnessed the quick two-hour homebirth of his baby girl," says photographer Sarah Jankowski. "You could tell he was already so in love with her!"

  • Making Faces


    "This funny man is holding his daughter for the first time," says photographer Tammy Schmit. "As he stared adoringly into her eyes, she stuck her tongue out at him, and he responded in kind."

  • One-on-One Time


    "In this photo, Dad comforts his brand-new baby boy under the warming light," says photographer Laura Eckert. In fact, according to birth photographers, the warming light is often the first place where dads get to meet and bond with their infants.

  • Hello There!


    "This baby was laid on his mama's chest as soon as he was born," says photographer Casandra Hawkins. "This was the moment his daddy got to see his son for the very first time."

  • Catch!


    "This daddy is catching his very first daughter," says photographer Melissa Cate. "Mama delivered in the water on her hands and knees, and baby went directly into Daddy's waiting arms."

  • Double Rainbow Baby


    "After two losses, this happy and supportive father welcomed his double rainbow baby daughter into the world," says photographer Jennifer Mason. "His strong wife labored for over 24 hours to bring baby earthside, and this dad was there every step of the way."

  • The Four Faces of Fatherhood


    "This series of photos embodies everything becoming a father is to me," says photographer Ashley Marston. "I look at it often, and it brings me right back to that moment. As the photographer, it was hard to keep my camera still. The tears were rolling down my cheeks. I could see the range of emotion in him. It had been a very long and emotional birth, there was relief, then awe, disbelief and then overwhelming love. A lot of the emotions we experience every day as parents -- all captured in one very important moment."

  • Skin to Skin


    "There is no better feeling in this world than that first skin-to-skin contact with your fresh baby," says Marston, the photographer of this photo too. While skin-to-skin is something we typically think of babies doing with Mom, with Dad, it's just as beautiful.

  • Holding Hands


    In this photo, dad and baby bonded with a little hand holding. "Shortly after coming earthside, this baby grasped onto her father’s finger," says photographer Sabrena Rexing.

  • Staring into Each Other's Eyes


    "This little girl knew exactly who her daddy was and just gazed at him the whole time they had skin to skin," recalls photographer Keri-Anne Dilworth. "It was such a beautiful moment to capture."

  • Love at First Sight


    "The first of many times that father will admire his son," says photographer Jaydene Freund.

  • First Kiss


    "This dad had so much love and joy that his son had arrived safely, he leaned over to give a tender kiss while he lay there in the scale," says photographer Freund.

  • Up Close and Personal


    "I love how this dad is getting to know his newborn son, baby Tyson," says photographer Janelle Kamp.

  • Life-Changing Moment


    "A mother is said to feel like a parent throughout the pregnancy, but the moment a father first holds their child is profoundly life changing," says photographer Ari Landworth. "This image is intended to impart the gravity of that moment."

  • Nothing but Pride


    "First-time dad welcomes his baby girl after a long day of worrying. He prayed for a safe C-section after many hours of labor and finally in his arms he couldn't contain his joy," photographer Melissa Benzel tells CafeMom. "Instant love." 

  • Forehead Smooches 


    "Baby's first kiss," Benzel says. "Daddy is happy to be loving on his firstborn."

  • Sheer Gratitude 


    "This is the first time dad looks at his wife with love, admiration, and thankfulness for birthing a perfect little baby after so much hard work during labor," Benzel says.

  • Belly Rubs 


    "Dad couldn't keep his eyes off baby," Benzel says.

  • Eager Welcome


    "Dad can't contain the tears of joy and relief after seeing his baby safely in his wife's arms," Benzel says. 

  • Daddy's Miracle


    "Finally getting to hold his baby girl!" Benzel says. "This couple had an early pregnancy scare but baby is now finally in his arms, safe and perfect!" 

  • Holding Him Close


    "This is a first-time dad and already his baby boy's favorite guy!" Benzel says. 

  • Rainbow After the Storm


    "Dad catches his rainbow baby girl. After a terrible loss, he now sees his perfect baby girl and can't stop smiling," Benzel says.

  • Home-Birth Hello


    "First home birth, second baby girl," Benzel says. "Dad is right there, in first place for meeting. And baby just can't stop looking at her daddy." 

  • Overcome With Appreciation 


    "Dad looks at his wife in awe of what an incredible woman she is," Benzel says. "No one could not smile seeing how happy he was." 

  • New Dad Glow


    "Dad is thrilled to finally get to meet his little girl!" Benzel says. "Holding on to both of his loves, he can't help but smile from ear to ear!" 

  • Cherishing the First Moment


    "Dad holds his little one close. She will never be this little again; just taking all in!" Benzel says. 

  • Cradled With Love


     "Fourth-time dad meeting his latest creation," Benzel says. "He looks at him as if it's his first!"

  • Surrounded by Babies 


    "Dad with all his babies. This last baby made two boys and three girls," Benzel said. "So much love with all these beautiful 'babies.'"

  • Major Surprise 


    This was Alex's second child and he couldn't help but laugh when he found out that baby number two was officially a girl. "We were all sure she was having a boy from the way she carried; everyone laughed and cheered in excitement!" photographer Nicole DeHoff tells CafeMom.

  • Grinning for His Girl 


    The look on John's face when he first little girl was born says it all. "He was flooded with emotion meeting his daughter for the first time. Instant love!" DeHoff says.

  • Locked Eyes


    After a C-section delivery, Armando couldn't stop staring at baby Rafael. 

  • Perfect Catch


    "There was enough love to stretch up to the moon and all the way back down to their sweet home," wrote photographer Monet Nicole. 

  • From High School Sweethearts to New Parents


    "Zach and Dawn had fallen in love when they were teenagers, and you could tell that they had a deep connection to each other and to the baby that was soon to join the world," writes Monet. "Zach's excitement was so contagious, and Dawn looked radiant, strong, and peaceful."

  • A Surprise Boy


    "With her mom on one side and Zach on the other, Dawn pushed her sweet baby into the world. Zach was able to deliver the baby (I LOVE when dads decide to do this), and he also had the honor of announcing the big news -- It's a BOY!" Monet wrote.  

  • Nothing but Smiles


    "Within seconds of moving from tub to bed, baby Scout was born! She went right to her mama's chest, with her dad cradling them both from behind," Monet wrote. "So much love. So much joy. So much beauty." 

  • Showered With Love


    "Jane and Brendan are a beautiful couple with a deep and powerful connection," Monet wrote. "They were so passionate and so kind to each other during Jane's birth." 

  • Delayed First Meeting 


    "Zach plays for the Denver Broncos, and they knew it would be a possibility that he'd be at a game when Iris went into labor. Sure enough, Iris began experiencing contractions on the very day Zach was in Chicago for an away game," Monet wrote. "She soon began pushing and before long, baby Enzo made his way into the world and into his mama's arms. Zach was able to meet his newborn son via Skype ... just minutes before he walked onto the field." 

  • Intense Love


    "Before we knew it, Lauren's water broke, and with it came a strong urge to push. I ran out to the hallway to call Joe, her husband, back upstairs," Monet wrote. "He ran in with their oldest son and jumped in the pool just seconds before Baby Eden came into the world." 

  • First Family Embrace


    "Tricia and Bruce were beautiful together. Their love and laughter filled the whole center," Monet wrote