As a dad, the bond you have with your baby is incredible!
When a mom has all the natural things a baby needs, how does a dad bond with his baby?
After all, you don’t want to develop the daddy blues!
In this post, I have 9 awesome ideas that dad can use to create a lasting bond with his baby.
Why Dad Bonding With His Baby Is Important
The lack of a bond can lead to the dad thinking he is useless or unimportant during the early stages of a baby’s life. For this reason, it is essential to begin bonding as soon as possible.
Before I begin, if the baby is not born yet, then NOW is a good time to start bonding! Therefore, fathers can begin bonding while they are still in the womb. Secondly, the sooner a dad holds his baby after being born, the greater the bond.
Studies have shown the beginnings of a strong bond when dads hold their babies shortly after being born. If the baby is already born, take a look at these bonding ideas!
9 Dad Baby Bonding Ideas
As I said above, dad has some serious competition in the form of Mother Nature. Mom’s have everything that a newborn needs when they are in the womb and as soon as they are out of the womb.
Dad can step in at this stage and be present during feeds if breastfeeding, spending time with mom and baby when feeding is in progress.
The more dad is present during feeding, the more the baby will look to the dad as an essential part of that particular process. Just ensure that you are not taking anything away from mom when doing this.
The critical point is that you work together to ensure your baby builds a strong bond with dad and mom.
Maybe dad can take some of the night feedings? Just a thought!
It is vital to start playtime from the early stages of a child’s life! For a start, it is fun for both parents and children. Secondly, studies have shown that regular playtime with dad improves cognitive development.
I am not talking about building lego or playing contact sports here; playtime with the baby is more gentle!
Great games for dad and baby playtime are:
- Dancing (Obviously, dad will need to do all the moves)
Ultimately, playtime will build a strong bond and will improve babies congative development and will strengthen babies imagination.
Read a book
Studies have shown that dad reading to his baby will improve language development.
It improves language development, but it also means the dad spends more time with the baby and acts to strengthen the bond.
You can go one step further here and read a book that is ABOUT dad!
These books can be fun and exciting to read. Take a book called The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy, for example. This book has some awesome pictures and is very funny. When daddy reads this with a smile on his face, his baby will see a happy dad, and the bond will grow stronger!
Children love learning. Sure, they might not show it sometimes, but their brains are thirsty for knowledge.
Dad needs to be aware of this and needs to act on it.
Even as a baby, children love to learn. Respect quickly grows towards all the people they see as teachers, who are the font of all knowledge.
I am not talking about dad bonding with his baby by running through a few long calculations here! I am talking about simple things, like pointing at items and explaining what they are and what they are used for.
Babies will not be able to remember a lot of this, but simply the act of teaching is enough to strengthen the bond and will feed their inquisitive nature!
Outdoor time builds on the tip above about being a life-tutor and doubles up as some special outdoor time with your baby!
Spending time outside has some enormous benefits for dad and baby. It opens up the world you the baby by allowing them to see things that they do not see indoors, such as wildlife, shops, and nature.
Be a teacher outside the house where they will have so much information to take in. As the baby looks around at objects, dad can point them out and give them a name.
Secondly, fresh air will make the baby very tired, making it much easier to settle them later on in the day! So dads need to know these things if they want a little more sleep!
Outdoor time is also a good way for you to bond with your daughter.
When babies are born, they look to their parents and notice similarities. The challenging thing here is that they are much smaller than you are.
By wearing similar clothes, you match yourself with them, which will help build a bond.
We all know that matching is a widespread way to build rapport with someone, so why not use that to your advantage when a dad creates a bond with his baby?
If dad has a favorite sports team, why not buy a matching sports kit? Does dad have a favorite band? Favorite car manufacturer or a favorite drinks brand, perhaps? There are so many options, and each one will help build a bond.
Be careful with this one because it can quickly become a habit where they will not fall asleep without someone there! I know this because it happened to me.
Babies nap. A lot. Napping is the perfect time for some skin to skin contact!
I could write thousands of words on the benefits of skin-to-skin contact! Skin to skin has been shown to aid development and reduce maternal stress. This is also true when a dad spends skin-to-skin time with his baby. Keep your baby close!
Before you lay your baby down in the crib, consider whether you have some spare time to let the baby nod off on your chest. There is nothing that builds a bond stronger than skin-to-skin contact! Use this time to your advantage.
As soon as they drift off to sleep, it is time to lay them down in the crib (carefully)! Co-sleeping has been shown to increase the chances of a baby suffering from SIDS, so it is vital that you lay them down correctly.
Bath time is a fabulous time for some dad and baby bonding!
Dad gets to spend some quality time with his baby, but there are also so many fun things to do during bath time that will entertain his baby until it is time to get out.
Being new to this world, a baby will love bath time because the feeling and movement of water cause sensory overload!
Spend some time pouring small amounts of water over their legs and watching the reaction. If it is good, carry on. It is probably best to stop and move on if it is bad.
Squeezy toys, bubble machines, and books are great ways to entertain a baby during bath time, so use them to your advantage.
Attend Baby groups together
Dad can take his baby to many baby groups for some awesome bond-building time.
When my son was a baby, I took him to a Baby Yoga class. It meant that I could spend some good quality time with him, and the room was full of dads doing the same things!
I admit, my son did not enjoy the Yoga class. He cried after 20 minutes, and then we left. Maybe a Yoga class was not for him, but there are tons of other baby classes that dad can choose from.
A simple search in my area brings back a list of possible classes to attend:
- Signing and Singing
- Music Class
- Baby Massage Class
- Baby Sensory Class
There are tons of options, so take a look in your local area!
Above are 9 awesome dad and baby bonding ideas that you have to try if your dad wants to build a healthy and robust bond!
There are so many reasons why it is good for a dad to have a strong bond with his baby. While I have covered a few already in this post, there are more benefits too, such as:
Bonding with a newborn means that the baby will grow up to respect and admire their dad much more than those who are not lucky enough to have built a strong bond.
Personally, I strive to improve the bond I have with my son each and every day because it is very important to me.
It is simply not enough to be a dad; you also have to be a friend and life coach. For that, you need rapport and a strong bond.
Oh, and mom, you should encourage dad to spend more time with his baby when it is time to bond. I am sure you will welcome the free time!
Recommended reading: My guide on newborns for dad.