If you are a father expecting your first child, you might feel left out as mom is getting to do all the bonding.
Now, you would want to bond with your unborn child for many reasons. Not only does it make mom feel better, but it can also be seriously soothing for your baby.
Studies have shown many positive results when an unborn baby receives attention from the father or another caregiver who will be close to the child.
It’s a great way to help prepare for impending fatherhood!
Don’t worry; there are many ways to bond with your unborn child. We will take a look at those ideas below!
Why Bonding with Your Unborn Child is Important
Every step of the pregnancy journey is a chance to get involved and show that you are there for your baby and mom.
Joining for prenatal visits is one of the first things you should do. That instills confidence in mom, making her happier, which affects your baby.
Remember, a happier mom leads to a happier and healthier baby. Pregnancy is not easy, so you need to be there to make things as comfortable as possible for mom.
When Can You Start Bonding with Your Unborn Baby?
By caring for mom from the beginning of the pregnancy, you are already improving your connection with your baby.
Right from the beginning, you can incorporate belly rubs and massages. Your baby is going to feel it through mum’s belly.
Things start to get interesting around 18 weeks of your partner’s pregnancy. That is when the baby begins to hear the sounds of mom’s heartbeat and even her stomach grumbling.
At around 26 weeks, your baby reacts to noises inside and outside the womb. It is an excellent time to begin introducing your voice to your child.
Now your baby can hear; it’s time to watch what you say!
If you talk to your unborn child a lot, your voice will be soothing to them, which will help when the baby arrives!
Gently rubbing mom’s belly and singing a lullaby will help to soothe your unborn baby. I know it might seem strange, but you get used to it! Hopefully, mom doesn’t laugh too much at your singing.
Mum and baby will surely love all the attention you give them. Speaking and singing lovingly to your unborn baby can form an emotional connection.
Babies start to recognize familiar voices, which makes it the perfect opportunity for you to bond with them while still in the womb.
After 33 weeks, your baby can recognize vowel sounds from the language you speak. Studies have shown that early language development begins before birth. This can kick-start your baby’s development!
4 Ways a Dad Can Bond With His Baby During Pregnancy
Using Touch to Bond with Your Unborn Baby
From around 18 weeks, your baby becomes sensitive to touch, this is the perfect time to get him used to your touch.
You find that around 24 weeks, your baby recognizes your touch and might even “play” with you by kicking or punching where your hand is placed.
Mixing sounds and touch together is a great way to build that connection with your baby.
Combining sound and touch provides more of a sensory experience for your child, strengthening your emotional bond.
Music and Your Unborn Baby
Playing your favorite music for your baby is a great way to familiarize them with what is in the outside world.
It is perfect to set aside 20 minutes a day to play some of your favorite songs for your child.
Remember, they can respond positively or negatively depending on their growing personality.
So, always pay attention to your baby’s reactions when exposing them to new sounds and feelings; this goes for after your baby is born too.
Bonding with Your Unborn Baby During Meal Time
Eating a good meal is essential no matter how old you are. It is time the body receives the nutrients it needs to grow and develop.
During mealtime, feel-good hormones are released for both mom and baby. By eating tasty, nourishing food, you are putting your partner and baby’s health first.
As a dad, joining during mealtime is essential. At around 21 weeks, your baby is essentially tasting what mom is eating.
So, including yourself in mealtime, your unborn baby can associate your voice with an important time of day.
When getting your favorite meal, it is fun to make it exciting for mom and baby. It could be once per week, but you can sing a duet or funny song when you eat it.
Over time, your baby can associate that song with mealtime, and it can even be used as a trigger in the future to relax them.
If you are not the best singer or don’t like singing, it is a good idea to search for some calm music suggestions to listen to while you eat.
Reading to Your Unborn Baby
Reading can be highly therapeutic and great for you and your baby’s mom. Finding a great children’s book that is engaging enough for both of you to follow is a good idea.
You can read to your unborn child, whether awake or asleep, but reading every day has proven beneficial.
It can get your child into the routine of what’s to come and is a great habit to start with your unborn child.
Reading to your child increases brain activity and helps them develop their early language and literacy.
It is beneficial for babies before and after birth. Their language skills continually develop as they learn and grow with the world.
Bonding with your unborn child is possibly one of the most important things you can do for them. Dads can and should bond with babies while they are still in the womb.
It strengthens your relationship and makes you closer to your child when they are born.
When your child is born, make sure that you have skin-to-skin contact to build a strong bond with your baby.
Mom typically gets this opportunity first with your new baby, but once it is your turn, gently hold them on your chest and let them hear your heartbeat or even hum.
Often the deepness of dad’s voice is very soothing to a baby. It’s a great way to bond with the baby. They will be able to recognize your voice too!
From here on out, you are on a constant journey of learning and growing with your baby. Enjoy it because they grow up so fast.