Dad and Baby Bonding Time: 5 Top Tips
Sometimes it takes time, so try not to stress about it!
Mums can sometimes bond with their babies a little bit faster, but dads can and do develop strong relationships with their kids. It might just take a bit longer than when mum does it.
Dads get closer to their babies by talking to them, caring for them, and playing with them. As your little one grows and learns to smile, laugh, and talk, a real two-way relationship begins to form. This point can be reached in an average of six months, but it will happen!
Most dads' relationships with their six-month-old babies are very different from the ones they had with them right after birth. You will get there, but here are five great tips to help you bond with your baby before and after birth.
1. Get going early
A little bonding before the baby is born can make it much more likely that dads will form a strong bond with their child after they are born. Babies can hear around 18 weeks before they are born. So, even if you think it's silly, try to talk, sing, and read to your baby every day.
This is your chance to tell them about your day or even your top 10 albums ever. Why not tell your baby what you hope for them and what you want to do with them? All of this can make the bond stronger after the baby is born.
2. Get snuggling
Make sure you get that important skin-to-skin contact as soon as you can after giving birth. Tell the midwife you want to do this so that she doesn't forget. This is only the beginning of skin-to-skin. It's a great way for dads to stay close to their children over the next few months.
Skin-to-skin cuddles let your baby hear your heartbeat and learn your scent, just like they do with mum when she's breastfeeding. Give them as many chances as you can to snuggle up on your chest. It's a nice way to feel close to each other and can also help you both unwind.
3. Touch has power
Find a task that you can do by yourself to give yourself some dad time. How about giving your baby a massage? It is one of the best ways to get close. It makes both of you have a lot of the happy hormone, oxytocin, which will help you feel closer to each other.
Recent studies have also shown that a massage is one of the best ways to feel better if you have the baby blues (and yes, dads can get them too).
4. Permission to be a fun dad
When a baby is about six months old, bonding changes. Your baby is now old enough and mature enough to play.
Rough and tumble is a type of play that both babies and dads like. We're talking about flying around the room like a plane, bouncing the baby up and down, and tickling him or her a lot.
So, what exactly are the benefits of this kind of play? Well, it makes more oxytocin, dopamine, and beta-endorphins come out because it is fast, fun, and risky. This means that babies and their dads get a rush of chemicals that help them bond.
This is a great way to get to know each other better, and it's also important for your little one’s physical and social growth. It improves their mental strength, physical coordination, and ability to get along with other people. So, dads, feel free to tickle, jump, and bounce with your kids and watch your relationship grow stronger!
5. The bond between dads is just as special
It's easy to think of the bond between a mother and her child as the "gold standard." But the bond between a dad and his child is also one of a kind. In fact, mums and dads have different bonds with their babies that help them grow and learn. It teaches them about the different kinds of people and relationships they will encounter in life.
Evolution has decided that the bond between a father and a child should be different from that between a mother and a child. And it isn't any weaker. Feel good about your relationship with your little one!
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