6 Father-Baby Bonding Tips for New Dads•
Posted on June 03 2022
Father's Day is just around the corner, and soon-to-be dads everywhere are awaiting the moment when their lives will change forever. Welcoming that new little person into your lives and your home will be one of the most meaningful things the two of you will ever do, but those initial first days when everything is suddenly different can be a bit of a shock, especially for the new dads who haven't had the same chance as the mothers to bond with the baby before he or she is born.
We used to think that baby-parent bonding was immediate, but now we know that bonding experiences are unique and personal, and they sometimes take time to blossom. Mothers get the benefit of surging oxytocin (the bonding chemical) levels during pregnancy and birth that help to facilitate attachment. Fathers, on the other hand, experience raised levels of oxytocin during time spent caring for their new babies. This is not to say that fathers never bond with their children before they are born, but that it is more common for the bonding process between fathers and their babies to occur during childcare.
If love at first sight doesn't happen, do not panic. It may take some time to form that special attachment bond. New fathers - don't punish yourselves if you don't bond immediately. New mothers - refrain from pressuring an immediate bond between father and child. Instead there are things new fathers can do to encourage and grow that special father-child bond.
- Split childcare duties with your partner. As we mentioned already, father's tend to experience higher levels of the bonding chemical, oxytocin, when they care for their children. Finding time to change the diapers or to get up in the middle of the night to rock your baby back to sleep will increase bonding.
- Playtime. Childrearing isn't all about diaper-changing and middle of the night wake ups; it's also about playing and having fun. Giggling together and spending quality time together provides a great boost in attachment.
- Eye-gazing. Part of attachment is mirroring. Spending time simply holding your baby and gazing into each other's eyes activates mirror neurons that promote bonding and attachment.
- Cuddling. Skin-to-skin contact is soothing for humans. Spend time cuddling your child, holding them in your arms, taking naps with them, or even reading to them.
- Communicate. Talk to your baby as you go through your day. This will not only help him or her develop language, it will help in the bonding process. But also meet your baby at their level. Mirror their movements or mimic their cooing sounds.
- Feeding. Mothers don't always have the upper hand with this one. If your wife is pumping, take time to feed your baby through a bottle.
With Father's Day coming up, it's also time to show appreciation with Father's Day outfits for baby that show just how much baby loves their daddy. Head on over to the Tesa Babe website to purchase Father's Day outfits on sale.