Dads don’t have to be left out because you are breastfeeding your baby. Bonding can happen in many other ways that are not only beneficial for him, but beneficial for Mom as well.
More success with support from Dad
Bonding isn’t the complete domain of the one with the breasts, and even though bonding may come naturally to you as a nursing mom, babies can — and do — bond easily with their dads as well.
Not only will the father and baby bond be stronger when he helps and supports his breastfeeding partner, but the nursing pair’s success will be greater as well.
Bring him along
From the get-go, have him participate in the breastfeeding experience. This includes taking him along to childbirth and baby informational classes when you’re pregnant. Two heads are definitely better than one, and he may remember tips and techniques that you forget. Share articles and books about breastfeeding babies so he knows what to expect, too.
Enlist nighttime aid
One way moms can involve their baby’s father is to ask that he brings the baby to her — if they aren’t bed-sharing — when she wakes to feed at night. Dad can gently lift the baby from her crib, talk quietly to her, change her diaper if needed and return her to bed after she’s done. It creates a beautiful feeling of teamwork when both parents are actively involved in baby care, and this is a perfect way to do so. It also gives Dad some valuable nighttime moments with the baby, which is a wonderful time for bonding.
It can be hard to watch your baby’s father fumble with your newborn or put his diaper on backwards (something moms do too!), but it’s priceless to see the relationship he forms with your tiny baby. Even the biggest, burliest men can handle babies with ease, but it can take practice before you see him perfect this skill. The good news is that the benefits are amazing, and you will likely find even more love in your heart for the new dad.
Give him bath duties
Bathing a baby is one of the sweetest exercises parents get the pleasure of partaking in. If he’s not comfortable handling a slippery, wet baby, have him join you when you bathe her so he can observe. Soon, he may find that bath time is one of their favorite times together — a treasured father-baby time they can look forward to every day.
Just because he’s a dad doesn’t mean he’s incapable of caring for a baby. Too many times, the media portrays dads as bumbling goofs who can’t manage any sort of care for an infant, and that can undermine a dad’s confidence as well as sway his partner’s perception. Encourage him to love, hold and care for your baby and you’ll find that bonding happens easily and naturally for him too.