Fathers – Finding Ways to Bond With Your Baby
By Sean Buvala
So, new dad, you want to know how you can bond with your new baby? That is great and it is the first step in your new life with your infant. Closeness and tenderness with your child is rewarding for your baby and you will discover how much being a caregiver does for you. Slow down, relax and enjoy the new son or daughter. Here are nine ways for dad to bond with the baby.
1. Take over some feedings.
Do not let this powerful moment of bonding go by you. In infants, the focal-point of their eyes is about the distance from an adult’s chest to their face. Amazing how nature worked that out. Dads- grab the bottle (formula or breast milk) for these moments. When solid food comes along, grab the spoon and go at the feeding. Wear an old shirt if you are worried about the mess.
2. Be a part of baby care.
Diaper changing makes some men cringe. Do not panic: it’s only poop and it washes off. If you have a messy baby to clean up, strip down yourself and jump into the shower or bath with them. All that skin time is good for you and the baby.
3. Take your baby on solo errands.
Pack up the baby-bag, strap the kid into the car seat and go about your business to the store, the post office, the bank or wherever your daily tasks may be. Make “where are we going next” the adventure for even the youngest child. Remember- never leave your baby unattended in the car- even for a minute.
4. Learn about child development.
You might be a dad that knows it all about raising kids. More than likely, you will benefit when you take some of that Internet-surfing time to check out the huge number of sites about parenting, fathering and raising kids. Watch videos and read articles.
5. Have some physical play with your baby.
You are the ultimate monkey bars to the toddler child. Get on the floor and let the rambunctious activity start. Even your little baby makes a good and giggling resistance weight for arm-curls, squats and bench-pressing.
6. Strap the kid onto your body.
A backpack on your back that lets your child see over your head or a front-facing baby holder gives your baby a much-needed new view on the world. Not only are you the child’s personal monkey-bars, but while wearing your baby, you are also a ladder with legs as your child sees the world from a new height.
7. Sing a song and tell stories with your baby.
No one is going to judge you for being silly or not singing well. Your baby develops language skills by hearing and using language. Make up stories as you go along, you do not need a storybook. Create songs or sing the best-of-the-90’s from memory. You will be building your child’s future literacy success, too.
8. Take pictures.
Tons of digital pictures are a gift you are making to your future self. Take loads of pictures and save them on a good hard drive. Go through those pictures and print out some of the best. Keep them on your desk at work or wherever you spend your working time. Switch out your photos on a regular basis.
9. Relax around your baby.
While you do not want to take dangerous risks with your baby, you will find that you are going to be more competent than you might at first think. You are different from the child’s mother; you will parent in your own unique way. Don’t strive for being perfect. Rather make it a point to be present and involved with your child.
Most dads have some initial nervousness with their new baby. Why not make it a point to use some of these ideas with your baby soon?
The author, Sean Buvala, has four children ranging in age from preteen to adult. As well as presenting workshops and classes nationally since 1986, he is the author of “DaddyTeller: How to be a Hero to Your kids and Teach Them What’s Really Important by Telling Them One Simple Story at a Time.” Learn more about Sean’s fatherhood programs at http://www.fatherhoodprograms.net or follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/daddyteller
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