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Bonding Time With Dad

The first weeks and months as a new father can be a daunting time. Moms have gone through pregnancy, we’ve felt baby move around, grow and kick through the day and night – so it’s sometimes hard for dads to really feel involved. Emily Manning share some tips for new fathers.

As one father explained to me recently, “reading pregnancy books before my son arrived was like reading a car manual without ever having seen a car. Suddenly you find yourself in the driving seat and you’re expected to know what to do.”

As a new dad, your role may appear to be a supporting one, especially if your partner is breastfeeding. Doing as much around the house as possible, particularly in the first few weeks, will be well received, especially as it will allow your partner to rest as much as she can. Once breastfeeding is established, however, your partner may opt to express some milk so that you can give a bottle at bedtime.

Spending time with your newborn is the ultimate answer to bonding, and even if you aren’t involved in feeding him, there are still lots of opportunities for that all-important one-on-one time with dad. Nappy changes, bath time, setting up a bedtime routine, going for walks or just cuddling on the couch are just some ideas for dads to carve out their own niche in these early months. These caring, comforting tasks are equally vital and important for bonding with your newborn.

If after returning to work following the birth, you feel like you will be missing out on precious time with your little one, make a conscious effort to devote ‘home time’ to being with your baby.

Take over the dinner and bedtime routine when you get home in the evening, get up for the night feeds at the weekend, leave your partner to nap or sleep in – but, above all else, get set to enjoy all those gummy smiles you’ll soon be getting from your baby as he looks at you with wonder.

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