Figuring out all of the new relationships and roles when a baby arrives can be very challenging. It is often very difficult to get dad involved with the new baby; not because he doesn’t want to but because he doesn’t know how. As moms we have the upper hand, we have our motherly instincts and all of our hormones from the pregnancy, therefore, it is our job to help dad out a little. Below you will find 7 ways I have found to get dad involved with the new baby.
Have Dad Help with Feedings
Get dad to help out with day and night-time feedings. Feeding a newborn can be very relaxing and dad will enjoy the one-on-one time with his new baby. Yes, I know this can be a little difficult when baby is breastfeeding, however, every baby needs to be burped and who better to accomplish this than daddy! Also, dad can accommodate to mom while she is breastfeeding i.e. getting a glass of water, nursing pillow, or fetching baby from the crib for night-time feedings.
Give Dad Diaper Duty
I remember the nurses telling my husband that a great way to bond with our first baby was to change his diapers. I gave the nurse an excepting nod while my husband looked at her like she was crazy. Although it’s a dirty task, it is a great time for dad to talk, sing, touch, & make eye contact with baby.
Even the youngest of babies benefit from having a book read to them. Babies feel safe and secure when they cuddle with dad (or mom) and hear the soothing sound of their voice.
Dr. Olene Walker, Utah’s past governor, says about reading to children: “We must begin reading with children from the moment they come home from the hospital. Even a newborn will enjoy hearing the sound of your voice and being held in your lap”
Take Baby on a Walk
Have dad take baby on a walk in the stroller or participate in baby wearing. Babies love being outside and a little fresh air (and quiet time) will be great for dad too. Mom can join along or stay back and enjoy a nice hot bath while dad spends some quality time with baby. According to BabyCareDaily.com, daily walks improve appetite and strengthen the nervous system of the child, the child capricious less and sleep better.
Have Dad Play With Baby
Some dads find it difficult to play with their baby. Often dads will say “I’m afraid I will hurt him/her or the baby doesn’t like me.” It does take some practice, but dad and baby will grow to LOVE this time spent together. No one else can play like dad.
Enjoy Bath Time with Baby
If the baby does not like the water just yet, have dad try taking a bath with him/her. Baby and dad can benefit from the skin-to-skin contact they will receive by taking a bath together.
Get Dad to Take Baby to Pediatrician Visits
Have dad participate in the baby’s “well visits.” This is an excellent learning opportunity for dad and a great way to get all of his questions answered. I personally think it is important for both mom and dad to attend doctor’s visits because you are both involved in your baby’s day-to-day life/development.