A lot of first-time dads feel a little awkward when it comes to spending time with their new baby. Often times, dad seems to get pushed a little to the side while mom and baby take center stage. It’s hard for a dad to know what to do in this situation and sometimes it may seem he’s not too interested in the new baby but may just be experiencing a case of anxiety or not know what to do.
You can help build up your partner’s confidence by slowly allowing him to do more things for the baby or simply let dad and baby spend quality uninterrupted time together. And unless your baby is in harm try not to interfere when your husband does something a little differently than you may. This will chip at his confidence as a new father. You can start helping your partner bond with baby while you’re still pregnant with this relaxation CD. The Daddy Bonding CD was developed to help men establish a closer connection with their unborn child.
If you are breastfeeding, your husband may feel a tiny bit left out or even jealous. This isn’t uncommon. The best way of dealing with it is to remind him that there are many things he can do to bond with the baby. Giving baby a bottle isn’t necessary and can disrupt or even end the breastfeeding relationship. Babies have been bonding with their babies since the beginning of time while Mom took care of feeding.
Here are a few activities Daddy and Baby can share together:
Bath Time – Let your husband bathe the baby. This is a great time for dad and baby to bond and will give you some much needed rest too.
Diaper Changing – You probably won’t mind if your partner helps with this one. It’s also a great way for dad to gain confidence in caring and looking after baby. You can be in charge of “input” since you’re nursing and let him be in charge of “output”.
Sofa Time – Have you noticed dads love to lounge on their sofas with their kids. Give your husband some time to watch the game or listen to music while laying with baby on the sofa. This can make for great bonding time and will give you some free time for a quick nap or bath. Babies love the different sound of Daddy’s deep voice and his hairy chest. Give them time to couch out together.
Going for Walks – Some new moms may feel a little nervous when their husbands go out alone with baby, but you should trust that your partner will care for your child just as well as you would. Taking baby for a walk will give him added confidence in his parenting skills. He’ll be out on his own and ultimately responsible for all of baby’s needs.
Slinging Baby – Teach Daddy how to wear baby in a sling or other soft cloth carrier. Baby will probably settle right down as soon as he starts walking or dancing around, and this will help him gain confidence in caring for baby. It helps if you have an all black or blue baby carrier.
Just about anytime when your husband and baby can get some free time together will help build and establish the very important dad and baby bond. Try to encourage your partner and praise his parenting skills. Newborns don’t come with instruction manuals and it’s normal to make little mistakes here and there, so don’t let your partner become discouraged if he does make a mistake.
Above all, be happy that your husband and baby are spending quality time together. This will also give you a well deserved break to recharge your own mothering batteries.