When your new baby arrived earthside, you probably felt an immediate and visceral connection to this little life. It’s so amazing, isn’t it? Holding your baby the first time and marveling at all the tiny parts is almost magical.
For the mamas, there is often a lot of time to physically and emotionally bond with the baby, especially if they are nursing. But how about baby bonding for dads? Why does that seem to be more difficult for a lot of daddies? Who is supporting them?
If this sounds like your experience, you’re not alone. Too often, dads do not receive the same support in bonding with their child that Mama does. Through our baby massage course, you can become confident in your ability to connect with your child, and learn some settling techniques to help you through witching hour!
Dads Can Feel Like the Second Fiddle
A recent conversation with Jason I discovered he was thrilled when he and his wife learned they were pregnant with their first babe. He did all the things! He shopped for maternity clothes, helped fit out the nursery, went to the doctor’s appointments, and attended the childbirth classes. He couldn’t wait.
When their daughter finally made her arrival on a Sunday evening, Jason was ecstatic. He held her, learned to bathe her, and changed her nappy. But it quickly became obvious that his wife had a whole different level of immediate love-at-first-sight connection with their child than he did.
As the days went on, Jason continued to enjoy his time with their daughter, even though it was harder after his two weeks of paternity leave were finished.
But he still felt like he was second in line for any bonding time. After all, he couldn’t nurse their baby, and they weren’t yet introducing a bottle. So it made sense that his wife got all that contact.
It was frustrating and kind of isolating.
Does this scenario resonate with you? Are you a dad who feels like you’re not sure how to bond or connect with your new baby? Or are you a mama who is concerned about your partner feeling left out?
Let’s look at some practical, simple ways to foster baby bonding for dads.
All About the Touch
One of the primary reasons that moms tend to bond more easily with their babies is breastfeeding. Mamas that nurse their babies have a forced connection time that the dads don’t have. And much of that connection comes down to touch.
Dads, you may feel that it’s hard to find a way to get that same level of bonding. And yes, it’s true, it will never be identical. It never is for parents whether their baby is breastfed or bottle-fed.
But you absolutely can find your own ways to bond and connect with your new little love. And as much as possible, it will revolve around touch as you hold, snuggle, and care for your baby.
Did you know that touch is the first sense to develop in babies? It actually develops in utero and is incredibly powerful for your new little babe. For the first few weeks of a newborn’s life, they use touch more than their other senses.
So, Dads, anything you can do that involves holding and touching your baby is valuable for bonding.
How to Build More Dad and Baby Bonding Time
Since skin-to-skin contact is so essential for your infant, go ahead and fit it in wherever you can. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Take Over a Feeding Time
If your child is taking a bottle, consider doing a couple of feedings during the day or night. This time is excellent for skin-to-skin touch, and it also helps your infant connect your touch with nourishment and love.
For babies who are exclusively breastfeeding, dads can be ready to do the burping and changing and snuggling after the baby finishes eating. Every minute counts, so don’t feel like you have to have an hour straight to benefit. Just soak in those magical moments!
Wear Your Baby
Mamas tend to get comfortable wearing their newborns quickly. But you dads sometimes can feel a little awkward at first. Many new fathers worry about hurting the baby or that they’re doing something wrong. We promise you’ll get the hang of it!
Babywearing is an excellent way to get that contact and bonding time for dads and their infants. And it makes it super simple to lean over and give lots of kisses on that little head!
Learn How to Give Your Child A Massage
One of the best ways to build dad and baby bonding is through baby massage. These gentle and calming techniques provide a perfect opportunity for you daddies to have time to connect with your babies.
Dads, you should not feel left out in bonding with your baby. Massage is the perfect solution for papas who want the chance to connect with their child. Taking an online class to learn how to massage your infant will leave you feeling empowered and encouraged, not to mention more in tune with your baby.
Research Backs Up the Massage Connection
Research surrounding baby massage is very exciting for parents and those of us in the industry. Not only is massaging babies healthy for the child, but it’s also good for the parent.
Studies indicate that dads, more so than moms, experience feelings of incompetence when it comes to child-rearing. And these feelings of “not doing it right” significantly raise a parent’s stress levels.
In one Canadian study of dads and infants, baby massage proved amazing at lowering these stressors. Fathers reported a significant reduction in their frustration and feelings of incompetence.
Can you imagine? Lowering your stress and your baby’s just through massage?
Remember Jason from earlier? Well, he took it upon himself to learn baby massage and started trying it after taking a class. Before long, he and his daughter had a bedtime routine that included their time to connect through massage.
Not only did Jason feel more bonded to her, but she started sleeping better, too. Which meant, you guessed it, he and his wife got more sleep, as well. Massage for your baby is a win-win!
Training Now Available
If you are a parent, learning baby massage is genuinely one of the best ways to connect with your child. Moms and dads alike will benefit from the instruction so that they can feel confident in their techniques.
Check out our new online course and give yourself the gift of education. You and your baby will love it!