Mom's had nine months to bond with her baby, but you're just meeting the little guy or gal for the first time in the delivery room – so what can you do to ensure that you and your newborn will have a happy, healthy and meaningful relationship from day one onwards?
While mom gets to bond with the baby through pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding, dad has to work a little harder to be a part of the newborn's life – but the extra effort is worth it for everyone involved.
One suggestion for new fathers who want to spend time with their little one is sharing nursing responsibilities. Ask your wife to pump some extra milk or mix up some formula to store in a bottle and reheat when the baby is hungry. Then, while mom rests or enjoys a day on her own, you can feed the little one on your own and get a little quality time with just you and your new family member.
As a dad, you can help in lots of other ways, too – from helping give the baby a bath to reading a bedtime book out loud to letting the little one sleep on your chest as you watch the game.
I really have to speak up. Worse advice ever regarding bonding with a newborn for dads. If a woman chooses to breastfeed, then the last thing she needs is to hear about introducing formulae or even pumping, ideally you don’t want to introduce a bottle to a newborn unless necessary. A father can simply hold the baby to bond, skin to skin. It’s a very old fashioned view about the rest of the family feeding the baby in order to bond. This is potentially damaging advice to new parents who don’t know better. I’m speaking from experience. At the beginning, it is about the mother baby relationship and the father needs to be there for the mother as support.