When a woman gives birth to baby, not only is a mother born but that moment changes and transforms the man in your life from partner/husband / better-half/ friend into a “Father”.
I underwent an emergency c-sec to bring my baby safely into this world. And due to the medicines injected into me during surgery I was numb for a brief period of time. I could hold my baby only on the 3rd day after slowly recovering from the sutures, hormonal changes, breast swelling and overall soreness. There was a roller-coaster of emotions that I went through in those 3 days. But one thing that kept me strong was seeing my man, trying to keep up with my new-born relentlessly.
I have come up with certain ways that can help a new dad bond with his baby. If your husband is naturally fond of babies and being around babies then it’s amazing but if you feel he won’t be comfortable or is scared of hurting the baby with improper care, you can pass on this article to him.
*The initial few days after a baby’s birth are very demanding. Wherever your movements are restricted due to sutures, let your husband manage the baby till the time you are absolutely fine to take over. Ask him to feed-burp-feed the baby. It will help him to understand a new born’s feed cycle and this understanding can be helpful to both of you as you can take turns to stay awake with the baby later on.
*Go with the flow and don’t insist on doing all baby duties by yourself. Let him change soiled diapers, bath or change clothes or swaddle the baby. Trust me; all these things do not need perfection, just pure love.
*Let the new dad carry the baby, play with him/her (do not act as a baby inspector); this will help to generate better communication between father and baby.
*Babies respond to touch and massaging the baby is another way of developing a good bond. Let the dad massage baby at least on weekends by letting him gently rub arms, legs and back.
*My baby is so used to being put to sleep by his father, that however late he might arrive from work, he will wait for his dad. I never interrupted their special time together, be it playing or putting to sleep and it has helped me have some me time.
*If you encourage baby-wearing, let the father wear baby daily for some time. It can be done right from birth. Babies are happiest when connected skin-to-skin with mom or dad. It also helps to get familiar with father’s body scent and helps baby recognize father easily.
*Find a community of dads (online/offline) where sharing baby duties is looked upon as equal responsibility with equal zeal. All the dads in our residential society play the role very efficiently – they gather, share and discuss parenting stuff on a daily basis.
These are some ways that helped my husband bond with our baby but if you have some more tips, do feel free to contribute in the comments section!