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6 Ways to Help Dad and Baby Bond

As families welcome their new baby into their family all too often they notice that mom has more opportunities to bond with baby. Perhaps because of the natural course of breastfeeding, but whatever the case may be it’s important for new dads to feel enfranchised to bond with their little one. Here are some everyday ways for dad to bond with newborn and establish a connection that will last a lifetime.

In This Article 

Introduction

Ways to Foster the Dad and Baby Bond

Common Questions from New Parents

dad and baby

As with anything, father baby bonding is made easier if there’s a plan in place, so we’re sharing some ways for a new father to grow his bond with baby each day. As soon as baby arrives, don’t let a day pass without father baby bonding. From bottle feeding to skin-to-skin contact, it’s dad’s time to shine! 

Here are 6 everyday ways to foster the dad and baby bond:

Bottle Feeding

There is such a special bond that happens when you feed your newborn.  And luckily, dad can have that same opportunity through bottle feeding baby once or twice per day. Bottle feeding can be done with breast milk, by having mom pump in advance, or with formula. Whichever way you choose, the dad and baby bonding will be real!

Pro Tip:

Pre-pumped breastmilk can maintain freshness in the refrigerator for up to four days, according to the CDC. On the long end, breast milk can even last up to six months in the freezer.

Diaper Duty

Even if you sprung for the state-of-the-art changing table with all the bells and whistles, diaper changes baby is still not a glamorous job! But, especially early on, it’s a wonderful opportunity to bond with and care for your child. Whether you’re the go-to diaper dad or you only have the opportunity to take the night shift, do what you can to take on this task whenever the need arises for an everyday father baby bonding moment.

Story Time

Whether in the morning or at bedtime or both, giving baby and dad set one-on-one time helps them build their bond. Whether you’re pretending to be Dr. Seuss or orating an article from Business Week, your baby won’t know the difference they’ll just know their dad is there interacting with them!  Plus, it’s never too early to start reading to your baby.

 Reading aloud has been proven to help aid baby’s development from the time they’re in the womb and even still when they can read themselves. They might not understand the words or know what the pictures mean, but if you read to them often, they’ll learn all the sounds needed to speak their language. Here’s some story time ideas.

 Book shelf in a nursery.

Bath Time

Baby safe suds? Check. A toy to soothe a potential grumpy baby? Check. Relaxing bedtime tunes? Check. Dad, you have this bedtime bath routine down!

Bedtime preparation is a great time for dad and baby to bond. Dad can talk to baby, tell stories, teach them something new, the possibilities are endless when you have your little one’s undivided attention. So, schedule out which nights you’re taking on bath time duty and go make some memories.

 It’s crucial to share your baby’s bedtime routine responsibilities, like bath time, whether that means a few nights per week for mom and a few for dad or you both work in tandem every night to get your little one feeling clean, comfy, and ready for a restful sleep! This will ensure that your baby doesn’t latch onto one bedtime parent (a.k.a. the parent that’s stuck as the only one that can get baby to sleep). 

Pro Tip: 

Set baby’s bedtime routine up for success by adding Zen Sleepwear™ to the bedtime routine checklist. It’s gently weighted to mimic your touch and helps babies fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer so dad gets a little extra support and baby gets some extra comfort!

dad bonding with baby at bedtime

Daddy & New Baby Groups

Find a local Daddy & Me weekly get together – you can find these at the local brewery, library, or playground meet ups. These groups are a very worthwhile time investment and give dad a chance to meet other fathers, build bonds, and gain support. It’s easier for us all to be our best when we have the support of a strong community around us, and new fathers are no different!

You can find these groups in your area by popping your town name or zip code into Google along with the type of group you’re looking to join (i.e. Daddy & Me music class, Daddy & Me stroller rides, etc.). If you’re looking for a more informed opinion on which group is right for your family, most towns have a Facebook group where you can ask for local recommendations. 

Dad and Baby Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin is when you lay your baby, belly down,  onto your chest. You might have heard about it as something that happens only with newborns, but it promotes bonding even as your baby gets older. And it’s not just for mommas! Skin-to-skin promotes bonding with both parents and is a wonderful way to promote dad bonding with baby.

Father and baby bonding.

Remember that no matter how you decide to get involved in your baby’s everyday routine, it’s important to give yourself some grace and know that if you put the time in your bond with baby will blossom. 

Common questions from new parents

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