It is difficult for a dad to understand and connect with a baby the same way that a mom does. Though it is exciting, it can still be a scary time for any new dad. The intense influx of emotions, lack of information, and lack of sleep can make it hard. However, any dad can learn to be a part of their child’s life. If you are new to the dad’s club and want to connect with your baby, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Get involved from the beginning - You don’t have to wait for your baby to be born in order to connect with them. Speaking to your baby while they are still in the womb will make you feel an emotional connection. Once your baby is born, you can dress, bathe, and play with your baby. Everyday activities will allow you to connect with your baby and help build a positive relationship with your child.
- Build trust and connection -Physical touch with your baby will help you to build a sense of security and safety for your child. Holding your baby as often as you can will increase their security and calm them down when they hear your heartbeat. Such bonding with a newborn will stimulate the baby’s brain development.
- Help with feeding - Even though your baby may be breastfed, it does not mean that you cannot support your partner in this process. For instance, you can offer her a glass of water or adjust the pillows while she nurses. You can always feed your baby expressed breast milk. If you and your partner’s plan is to use formula, find out all you can about formula bottle feeding.
- Talk to your baby - Babies can start hearing and distinguishing between voices when they're in the womb. Talking and singing with your partner during her pregnancy will help the baby to recognize your voice. After your baby is born, continue talking to them while changing their diaper or while you spend time with them throughout the day. Your baby’s language and learning will develop with every word they hear.
- Pay attention to baby’s cues - An infant’s only way of getting your attention is to fuss and cry. When you pay attention to your baby’s body language, you will learn to understand them and cater to their needs. This will make it easier for you and your partner to connect with each other and to your baby.
- Get all the information you need - Whether you read parenting books, search for reputable sites online or talk to other dads, learning as much as you can is the best way to cope with your baby. Apart from theoretical knowledge, just spending time with your baby is the best way to learn.
- Look after yourself and your family - A new baby can cause stress and put a strain on your relationship with your partner. Staying positive and supporting each other on this journey is the best way to go. Be open with your partner and share your expectations and fears.
- Accept and ask for help - Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Talk with your partner about accepting help from friends and family. You can also hire a babysitter for a few hours so you and your partner can get a break
- Join a dad’s group -Look for a dad’s club in your city and find a way to connect to other dads. Sharing your experiences will help you to learn much more and create a positive experience in your mind.