Growing a baby in your body gives mums a head start on bonding with a new baby. And that’s before breastfeeding leaves you permanently attached to them (or so it seems sometimes in the early days!). But what about the daddies? With a bit of smart planning, dads can catch up quickly and form their own close bond with their baby and earn some gorgeous gummy first smiles. Here are five ideas to get you started.
Studies have shown that your baby begins reacting to noises outside the uterus around week 26. This means there are about 14 weeks for dads to start making an impression on their unborn baby. Try talking or singing to your baby. The more familiar your voice is to a baby, the more comfortable he/she will feel with you after being born.
Stake your claim
If your partner is breastfeeding, it can be hard to feel involved in the early days. Take on a task like bath time or nappies. Use this time to talk and play with your baby. As he/she gets older, massage is a great way to bond with baby after bath time.
Top tip: Try blowing raspberries on your baby’s belly after changing. You might even get an early smile or a laugh!
It’s recommended that a baby should be exclusively breastfed for the first six weeks in order to establish supply, but after that, mums can express milk and dads can take over and feed baby with a bottle. Before that time, support your partner’s feeding by making sure she is well fed and looked after by giving her drinks and snacks while she is nursing. Be involved where ever you can.
It’s pretty natural for a mum to feel in charge of the baby when she is off work, but try and take over sometimes. Send her out for a break or let her have an early night and take control of the parenting as much as you can. Being with a baby over a number of hours will help you get to know your baby’s developing personality, warts and all.
Looking after a new baby can feel like a hard slog at times. But while the night feeds and sleep deprivation can feel endless at the time, believe us when we say that it passes all too quickly. Take the time to simply cuddle your baby and breathe in that wonderful new baby smell. Pause and enjoy the moment of calm and peace (before that nappy needs changing AGAIN…)