Bonding with a new-born can be overwhelming, especially for a first-time dad. We’ve gathered a few fun ways for him to spend time with his little one.
1. Cradle baby close
When mom is breastfeeding baby, she cuddles him close to her chest and baby has a perfect view into her eyes. When you are bottle-feeding him, hold him in the same position, allowing your little one to gaze up at you.
2. Take the night shift
Give mom the chance to catch up on her much-needed sleep and become the ‘rescuer of the night’ when baby cries. This will give you and baby precious alone-time.
Pro tip: Be sure to have a few bottles prepped for midnight feeds.
3. Soothe her tears
Take a try at soothing her tears. Try singing to her, walking her around, gently rocking, or find the closest dummy for her to suck on. This way, she can learn that mom isn’t the only one who can give her what she needs.
4. Make silly faces
You can definitely be the funny guy. Start by just making silly faces that will make your baby glow with a smile. As your baby gets older try fun games like peekaboo.
5. Take him for a walk
Babies love fresh air, so take your little bundle for a stroll around the block. Try using a sling or carrier instead of your stroller. This will keep baby close to you throughout the walk. Just be sure baby is slathered in sunscreen if it’s hot outside and bundled up if it’s a little chilly.
6. Try a baby massage
Babies respond to touch, and a simple way to soothe and relax them is with a baby massage. When your baby is quiet and happy (you won’t want to try it on a fussy baby) take 10 to 15 minutes to gently rub her legs, belly, arms, and neck.
7. Special play time
Set aside time every day specifically for playtime with your little guy. Make it part of his daily routine, so he expects his daddy time on the regular.
8. Daddy dance party
Babies love music and they love to dance. Even when your baby is just a few months old you can start having dance parties. Turn on some music (or sing a special song) then sway around the room with baby. As your baby gets older you can help her stand and dance (a.k.a. bounce) till she is able to groove to her own moves.
9. Take on nappy duty
Sure, there’s a little ick-factor, but nappy duty is also a time to bond. Even though it may be a little smelly, you get to talk to her and make silly noises as she gets a fresh change.
10. Cleaning time
Keep baby close by strapping on the carrier and toting him around while you tackle household chores like vacuuming. Plus, it’s double duty: baby bonding with his daddy and cleaning up around the house.
11. Take a sick day
When your baby gets ill it’s important for you to play a nurturing role — your little one’s sick days are yours too now. Make a point to go to healthy doctor check-ups too, so you can hear from the doctor how he’s developing and growing.
12. Be a part of the bedtime routine
A consistent bedtime schedule is very important to helping your baby sleep through the night. Choose a part of the routine you want to be involved in like bath time. This will help baby understand that when Dad says its bath time, it’s will be bedtime soon too.