When you've just had a baby, you suddenly become acutely aware of all the dangers of the world and all the ways things could go wrong. Everybody has an opinion on how you should parent, and before you know it, stress can creep up on you, and you'll have missed out on some great ways to bond with your baby and make some fantastic memories.
Here are 5 things every new dad should try to do with their newborns:
1. Take a baby-cation - Contrary to popular belief, this is the most carefree time. You can hop on a plane and travel anywhere. If the baby is being breastfed, they can literally snack wherever they want. You have no school schedules and homework to worry about and best of all, babies love to sleep – a lot! Plan a relaxing vacay, and you and your partner can take turns playing with the baby or getting some much-needed downtime by yourselves – WIN!
2. Baby Talk - Did you know that babies have a cry for everything from being hungry and sleepy to being wet or too hot? While mom naturally spends a lot of time with the baby and pick up on these cues easily, dad can too. Learning to read your baby's cues and signals and communicate effectively can be a gratifying feeling for both father and child.
3. The Daily Hit List - While burping, changing or bathing baby can seem like relatively simple things, they aren't. The first time you're trying to bathe or change a screaming infant with flailing arms and legs, you might panic too. But, doing it every chance you get can be the best way for both baby and daddy to become more confident and learn to trust each other. In fact, dad and baby bonding over these daily tasks can be wonderful for the whole family.
Things To Remember
● You don't need to be a genius to bond with your baby. Try simple things like talking, making up silly songs, dancing and playing with your child.
● Despite what social media shows you - no parent ever has everything under control. Be positive and flexible enough to tackle unaccounted twists in the plot.
● Looking after a baby is essential, but don't forget about yourself or your partner.
4. Make Doctor Time Special - While most people hardly think a doctor’s visit is the most ideal thing to do together, it can be a magical experience. You learn new things about your baby's height, weight, whether they are reaching their growth markers, and so much more. Bonus points for being there to kiss and hug them when they've just had their vaccinations. There are several prescribed for newborns and, if you haven't already, you should talk to your paediatrician for more details soon.
Photo by Tina Bo on Unsplash
5. One On One Time - Mothers are biologically built to respond to their child’s every need, but this doesn't mean dad is left with nothing. Touch, play and take your baby out for walks as often as you can manage, all by yourself. It's perfectly acceptable to be nervous the first few times. After all, parenting is all about the learning curve. Be as prepared as you can, make an effort to do fun things and take plenty of pictures of just the two of you for memories that will last a lifetime.
You don't need an occasion to get to know your child. Just be willing to grab every opportunity that presents itself through the days and weeks after birth, and you'll find plenty of ways to be the most involved and connected dad ever. Good luck!