“Dad a son’s first hero; a daughter’s first love.” – Unknown
There is also a saying it takes two to tango. It took you two to create this beautiful, precious bundle of joy. To some father’s, bonding begins as soon as they hear the first heartbeat – just as you (mom). They rub your belly and talk to the baby just as you do. To others, it can take the arrival of the baby for bonding to begin and to others longer. Interesting enough many father’s do not share this part of their parenting journey. I wonder why? But many father’s take on the role of caring after the birth of the baby so their spouse can recover from delivery. If all he he does it empty the diaper pail, or do the laundry when you are breastfeeding; that can prolong his bonding time with the baby. So this is what I will suggest,
- Get A Carrier/Sling: All babies love to be held or carried. They feel much more comfortable in your arms than the crib or bassinet. YOU can’t blame them for being in an enclose space (womb) all this while and that is why they feel attached to you. It is not realistic to carry your baby all day. You will like to use your hands for other things. A carrier/sling is your best buddy at this stage. It allows you to carry your baby whiles keeping your hands free to do other things around the house. Having dad wear a sling will be helpful. That way he can take the baby for evening strolls or around the house to help with their bonding time. It also provides you the mom some “me time”. You can catch on nap!
- Bath-Time: Dad has been at work all day – literally. I usually ask my hubby when he is half way home so I can prep bath time essentials for him. Evening bath is a favorite of his. He has always enjoyed it with our first born and now with Eazy. This moment gives him and Eazy the chance to have fun and play whiles attend to my oldest daughter. Since this is part of our bedtime routine, eventually Eazy will most of the time need his dad to have that moment with before bedtime. Also when I do go put Eazy to sleep, my hubby gets our daughter ready for bed and reads her bedtime story most of the time. It has become a tradition between he and the kids. Such an unbreakable bond.
- Get Him Involved: I honestly do not know how to stress this enough. This is something you need to do from the on set. Not when your baby is a month or two before you do this because at the stage your baby is in, your baby has come to prefer you more than anybody. You do not have to stop breast-feeding to make dad have a bonding time with baby. Express the milk, so dad can take over a certain time in the day to feed. But if you do not want to pump, then you can ask dad to change diapers. As the baby lays on the changing table, dad and baby will interact leading them to have their bonding moment.
- Special Moment: It is a natural thing for us to want to be involved in something fun someone is doing. If dad and baby are engaging in activity, leave them alone to have their bonding time. I know it can be tempting toes them giggling and you want to join in the fun. Let them be because you have been with baby and this is his moment to bond with his baby too.
- Think Before You Speak: We women were created or made for this – motherhood. It is unnatural for dads. So if dad wore the baby diaper a wrong way or wore the baby’s bodysuit inside out or wore the baby different color of clothes from what you thought he would have put on the baby; It is okay. Think well before criticizing him. Some men will avoid diaper changing, or dressing up baby to avoid you pin pointing little little things. And that will make your load at home more. Also as the child grows, their needs increases it. Remember you will eventually have another child, if you want to. So having dad have these moment with the child will be so helpful in the long run. For instance in a week, my daughter will need my assistance probably 2-3x. There are times I’m like “wow she really is daddy’s girl”. I am thankful for it because how will I juggle a 3yr old and a baby whiles I have a husband at home?
- Make Time For Him: I kept this for last because this is something we all as mums tend to do. Using the baby as an excuse most of the time lol. But remember before there was a baby, there was JUST YOU TWO. It is normal to be both tired and not have quality time as before but try to make time for him. When the baby goes down for a nap, text him and ask how his day is gong so far. Ask if he has had lunch and if you can surprise with lunch at work if you can. Ask him how he is feeling, you will be surprised of the things men finds it hard to bring out during this new stage because they do not want to overwhelm you the more but he is human and needs to be heard. Show him that you care. Moreover do not forget to tell him of how good of a father he is.
I hope this is helpful to any parent or mom-to-be out there. Help you spouse out. Do not make your spouse feel left out. It is both you your baby. Have him involved in everything. Even for checkups ask him if he wants to come if he can ask permission from work. If you will have to label babies food for him to know what he is feeding the baby at the moment, do it. Do not think, there is no need to have him him involved. As I said , you will be surprised of the things your spouse will share with you upon babies arrivals, if you both sit and talk of the changes and how to work on them. On that note, share with us by commenting on ways your spouse bond with baby. Till we meet on another blog post do take care guys.