Giving Dad Time to Shine
Before the Baby Arrives
New dads need to start early to begin bonding with the baby. Talking to the baby while in utero is a good start as research has found that babies can distinguish voices as early as 30 weeks. This can help with voice recognition when the baby is born.
Letting dad be a part of designing the nursery will help him get into the swing of taking part. Although his idea of how the baby’s room should look might not be close to what mom had in mind, dad can still help in choosing the furniture and equipment needed for the baby’s care.
After the Baby Arrives
Of course mom is driven to take care of any and all a baby needs, but that can be exhausting. Moms always have an explained calming effect on their little ones. Really, practice makes perfect – mom just spends a lot of time with the baby and knows what works for her and her little one. If dad is given the same space to figure out what works and what doesn’t, he will also develop the calming techniques that work for him and the baby. Mom just has to step back and let dad figure it out for himself, allowing him to make mistakes and encouraging him, rather than taking over for him. Mom can help herself most by giving dad the confidence to care for the child himself.
It may take time for a dad to feel comfortable and confident. One way dads can move the process along is to have a daily job that is an integral part of the baby’s day. Taking over the night time bath, the bed time ritual, and/or the afternoon playtime will give dad the face time and skin time he needs for closeness. even reading aloud the sports page with dramatic inflection is adorable and connecting.