As first time parents there are so many unknowns. You truly do not know what to expect until you are in it day in and day out. Throughout my pregnancy, I was obviously able to bond with our son for 9 months. However, it was definitely harder for my husband, since he didn’t have the privilege of carrying our child for 9 months! I’m sure this can be discouraging for all future fathers. If your husband is struggling to find ways to connect, below I have compiled 10 ways for new dads to bond with baby that will hopefully help you and your husband!
Throughout our son’s first year of life, I have learned that there is truly no specific “right way” to do things. All babies are different!
I constantly get “advice” from those around me, sometimes even strangers, on how they “think” we should be raising our child. Or how to parent him differently. Let me just say this… YOU DO YOU, MAMA! And dads, YOU DO YOU too! Yes, it’s important to glean wisdom and receive helpful input from others, but be confident in making the final decisions as you know your child best. You and your husband will make the best decisions possible for your baby.
Don’t let those around you influence your decisions. Don’t believe the lies that you aren’t a good mama. Be confident in yourself. Communicate with your husband and make the decisions that are in the best interest for YOUR kids and family.
With that being said, this list of 10 ways for new dads to bond with baby are just some of the many ways you can help your husband feel a part of your child’s life in the beginning stages.
I know from experience with my husband, he wanted so badly to be a part of our son’s feedings, diaper changes, bathing and everything in between. Let them help! For me, it was hard to allow others to help me. However, I realized that by not letting go of that control and allowing my husband to help, I was hurting his ability to bond with our son. Now, my husband is our son’s favorite person ever and it’s such a sweet thing to witness:)
Ok! Here we go! Below are 10 ways for new dads to bond with baby:
1.) Give baby a bath
Those first baths are always something to remember as parents. Giving this time to your husband is truly a gift to them. At least, for my husband it is:)
2.) Let him feed baby at meal times
You get to feed your baby all day long! Allowing your husband to do this will hopefully allow you to eat a meal in one sitting:)
3.) Skin on skin contact
Letting your newborn baby lie bare skin on your husband’s chest is so good for your baby! When they are able to hear a heartbeat and feel the warmth of skin it is beneficial for both baby and daddy.
4.) Bedtime routine
Whatever this looks like for your new little family, establish a bedtime routine that your husband is able to partake in. Whether that is burping, swaddling, changing of diapers, feeding, singing a song, etc, make sure your husband is involved.
5.) Play time
I know that babies can’t do a whole lot of “playing” initially, however, activities like tummy time, bouncing, and interacting with your newborn can all be considered play time! Remember, there are so many way to play with your baby. Let your husband get creative and enjoy his time bonding in this way.
6.) Read a book
Great for brain development for your babies!
7.) Change diaper and/or clothes
I know that some husbands might be hesitant to change poopy diapers, however, remember that you are a team and it’s important that you allow him the honors of that duty every now and then.
Also, give him the opportunity to let him pick out some cute clothes for your baby to wear that day.
I remember coming home one day and my husband had our little boy in the front pack while he was cooking dinner! It melted my heart. Let your husbands strap on that front pack and carry your baby while you go for walks, do chores around the house or are out and about.
Embrace the willingness of your husband wanting to help out and allow your husband to “take the load off you”:)
9.) Nighttime feedings
Mamas! Don’t fight your husband on this one. Obviously, if you are breastfeeding, you will need to do the night feedings initially. However, once you are able to start pumping, let your husband participate in some of those 3am feedings while you get your rest.
10.) Don’t criticize how he does things!
Ok, mamas, I know how hard this might be for a lot of us! We want our husbands to do it just how we do it. Otherwise, we see it as them doing it wrong. My outlook has been, if our baby is not in pain or hurting, then to keep my mouth shut and let my husband do his thing:) However, this took a couple months to figure out on my end;)
They don’t have to do it our way! Whether they put the diaper on the same way we do or bathe them exactly how we would, let’s just be thankful that our babies have diapers on and are clean!
Encourage your husbands. Just like us, they are doing the best they know how. They are new to everything just like we are. Let them figure out things for themselves and just be there to support and encourage them along the way!
Now that you have all this free time while your husband is getting to know your new baby, check out this post, 10 Simple & Delicious Slow Cooker Meals You Can’t Mess Up, to help simplify your life a little more during this crazy time!
Or, start planning some weekly meals by using the FREE template in THIS POST!
Embrace the help from your husband and those around you. Give up that control and allow your husband to bond with your baby in the way that he feels best. Support him along the way and remember that you are in this together as a TEAM!
Good luck, mama:) And remember, you do you! And any dad’s reading this, you do you, dad!
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