Having grown and nurtured a baby inside your womb for nine whole months and then having gone through the pain yet excitement of giving birth and now producing the milk so that you baby grows and thrives, it is often easier for mums to bond with their baby, with dads often feeling a little like ‘second best’.
Whilst the mother and baby bond is irrefutably unique and special, dads too can develop an exceptional bond with their baby, it just may take a little more work. Here are five tips on how to help develop a father and baby bond.
Make baby laugh
There’s nothing quite like someone who baby associates with making her smile, chuckle and laugh, to make baby want to see more of that person. In this sense dads should try and make baby laugh by pulling faces at her or playing ‘peek a boo’ to help strengthen a mutual bond.
Use a sling
Slings are great for creating crucial physical contact between baby and parents and making baby feel secure and safe and to help them get to know the scent of a person. It is therefore essential that dad carries baby around in a sling as well as mum!
Get out and about
Staring into your baby’s eyes as you take her for a walk in the pram can be a great way to ‘get to know’ each other and develop a bond – for mum and dad!
Be involved with night time feeds
Typically as dad goes to work and mum stays at home with the baby, it is mum’s job to see to baby throughout the night. This, however, won’t do dad’s quest to bond with baby any favours and to help develop a ‘connection’ dad ideally needs to be involved with the night time feeds.
Mums instinctively cradle their baby as they breastfeed, thus creating a warm, safe and loving ‘connection’ between them. This ‘connection’ can be replicated between baby and dad by ensuring that dad not only does his fair share of feeding – with either formula milk or expressed breast milk – but when dad does feed baby he mimics the ‘cradling’ motion that mum does.