Oh hey there, dads. How are you doing? Feeling good about being a dad? We thought so. Today, we’re focusing on you and sharing ten tips for dad and baby bonding. Because dad and baby bonding is pretty great.
1. Practice kangaroo care.
Kangaroo care is a fancy name for skin-to-skin contact. Said contact is beneficial both for baby and for the parent. Take time to cuddle with your little one to physically bond. Baby will become acquainted with your smell and can be comforted by it. Plus, cuddling is pretty much the best anyway.
2. Participate in feedings.
Whether it’s feeding baby via bottle or helping bring mama the baby to breastfeed, feeding time can be a meaningful time to bond with your baby. Taking over for some of the night feedings is also a great opportunity to get some quality one-on-one time with your child. Try holding the bottle in a position that allows for you to make eye contact with your baby.
3. Engage in soothing.
It’s important to engage with your child when she’s upset. Practice different soothing methods (walking around, singing, using a pacifier, etc.) and also try to learn to differentiate between her cries.
4. Set aside time for play.
While playtime for newborns isn’t the most exciting, it’s important nonetheless. Helping baby with tummy time, engaging her with interactive toys and just being present are all ways that you can engage in playtime.
5. Become a diaper-changing expert.
Let’s be honest here, changing a diaper is not the most fun parental task. However, when you share childcare duties with your partner (including diaper changes) you are able to better familiarize yourself with your child’s routine.
6. Take a personal day.
Playing a nurturing role when your baby is sick is important, so try to make her sick days yours too. Also, if possible, try to attend her well-child checkups too, so you can hear from the doctor and ask questions about her growth and development.
7. Be a part of the bedtime routine.
Consistency is key when you’re trying to establish a healthy sleeping schedule. So choose a part of the routine that you’d like to be involved in, be it bath time, story time, singing time or feeding time. This can help your baby understand that when you say it’s story time, etc. that it’s almost bedtime.
8. Baby wear to keep her close.
Baby wearing is a wonderful way to get in some physical contact time, while still being able to get other tasks done. So when you’re working from home, or you’re cleaning the house, you can put baby in a wrap or carrier and still complete your tasks. Going for a walk is also a nice activity that you both will enjoy.
9. Read stories.
Reading stories is a great way to help you child’s brain develop, and also create a fun dad/child routine. Pick some of your favorites from childhood for added fun.
10. Make silly faces.
Making silly faces is a great way to bond. As your child gets older, this can morph into simple games like peek-a-boo. There are few sounds better than a baby’s laugh.