Dive right in
Some dads are nervous about holding, burping or changing their baby, but the really good news is that the more you do something, the easier it gets. Moms — back off and let Daddy figure out which way the diaper goes on, and instead of standing right behind him as he attempts to put the baby’s onesie on, make yourself available, but stay in another room. Getting hands-on experience will raise the confidence level of a man to take care of a tender newborn, which can really facilitate bonding.
OK, moms and dads alike often balk at the idea of bathing a tiny newborn baby, because let’s face it — babies and water plus soap can make for an extremely slippery time, and you may worry you’re going to lose your grip on your wee one. Some dads with bath-time duty report that they solve the wiggly-baby problem by bathing with their baby. Propped up on Dad’s chest, the baby can feel comfortable, calm and warm, and Dad doesn’t have to worry about the baby slipping out of his grip.
Invest in a baby carrier
Moms aren’t the only ones who can get in on the baby carrier act. Bypass baby carriers that don’t give proper support to the baby’s legs and hips, and try a good-quality carrier like an Ergobaby X-tra carrier (Diapers.com, $120). This type of carrier is perfect for dads because it is adjustable and can be customized to fit his body better than some baby carriers, and it distributes the baby’s weight between his waist and shoulders. Baby is comfortable too, as he is cradled in a natural sitting position. Dad can wear Baby around the house or when you’re out and about and it’s such a sweet and natural way to gain some valuable bonding time.
Dads can really form a bond by getting some one-on-one time with their baby. Whether they’re just lounging around, looking at books, doing tummy time on the floor or experimenting with first foods, those times when a baby and her daddy are alone (even if Mom is just in the other room) are precious.
It’s really not hard for a dad to bond with his baby. The more hands-on he is, the easier it will be, and he’ll grow more confident in his baby parenting duties as the weeks, and then months, go by. Babies love their dads, and it’s clear why — Dad is an awesome guy to have around.
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