Bonding with the new baby is just as important for the father as it is the mother. Although it may seem that bonding either happens or it doesn’t, this isn’t entirely true. Rather, it takes time and there may be ups and downs in the process. Tips for fathers to bond with the new baby can be very helpful in setting a lifelong relationship with the child.
This isn’t a new concept when it comes to bonding with a new baby. However, no one really explains what to do exactly and the type of role it may play. Babies are constantly being touched, held, and carried but this has somewhat of a different meaning. Providing tactical sensation to the baby when care isn’t being provided helps the child become accustomed to the fathers touch. Massage is a great way to do this. Sometimes the father may fear hurting the child while massaging. In this case, it is perfectly acceptable to skip the full body massage and simply rub the child’s back.
Through no fault of his own, there may be chores associated with the new baby that the mother primarily takes care of. This may be especially so if the mother breastfeeds and/or the father has to return to work immediately after the birth of the child. However, taking part in chores is critical throughout infancy. This allows the baby to identify caregivers and will eventually lead to secure attachments. Even if he can only spend a few minutes before and after work tending to the child’s needs it can still be beneficial. Diapering, burping, and bathing are just a few of the chores that can help bring the father and new baby closer to one another.
Another great tip for fathers to bond with the new baby is establishing a routine. Although many parents establish routines for bed and bath, this routine is somewhat different. The goal is for the father to be a part of this routine. Some fathers may also find it beneficial to simply “schedule” father and baby time. Having certain times throughout the day when just he and the baby are together. The mother will enjoy this probably much needed break and the new dad will discover that this helps build bonds with the new baby.
This may sound contradictory when trying to bond with the new baby, but is not. For a secure attachment and bonding to occur, the parent needs to be at ease. Infants can sense the stress of a caregiver which can lead to agitation and frustration between both parent and child. Fathers may need time to themselves in order to feel refreshed and give their new family the full one hundred percent. Spending time with your significant other is also just as important. This helps avoid resentments towards the new baby and new lifestyle.
It may take awhile for the father and new baby to build a bond. As the child grows and the relationship evolves, so does the process of bonding. The father should remain patient and remember that bonding with the baby is one of the most important things that he will ever do.