bond
Breastfeeding

5 Ways for Dad to Bond With Baby

Breastfeeding moms shouldn’t have all the fun!

Many breastfeeding moms worry the baby’s dad won’t have appropriate bonding time with the baby. Sometimes this leads them to pump exclusively or use formula instead. But here’s what they should know: Breastfed babies do feed a lot during the first few months of life, but that’s not all they do.

Dads can bond with their new baby in lots of ways that don’t involve feeding, but that means getting involved in the nitty-gritty parts of their child’s life, which can mean getting their hands wet or dirty—or both.

Here are five essential ways Dad can connect with his child:

  1. Bath time. Put Dad in charge of bath time, so he and baby have a special time to bond each day. Bonus: Bath time is perfect for a baby massage. Dad can also be head diaper changer and chief baby dresser.
  2. Play. Talking, making baby smile and having a little skin-to-skin contact with baby on daddy’s chest are all great ways to bond. Infants are naturally able to focus on human faces and love looking up at their parents.
  3. Cuddles. Who doesn’t love a good hug? When baby isn’t feeding, there’s no reason daddy can’t hold him. And since there’s no such thing as too much hugging, Dad can cuddle his child while reading a book, watching TV or anytime Mom needs a break.
  4. Story time. You can start reading to your child as soon as they’re born. Dad can introduce story time by reading a book to baby each night before bed.
  5. Go-go baby! Once she’s a few weeks old, Dad can take the baby out for short drives or stroller rides. He can also wear baby in a wrap or sling while he picks up a few things at the grocery store.
Related:
Roland Matthews, M.D.: Getting Moms to the Benefits of Breastfeeding

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