Bonding with Your Baby as a New Dad
Having an infant can be overwhelming, especially as a new father. Mothers, of course, have it pretty hard, too, but being a father is a very strange thing. You don’t want to disrupt the very intimate, biological relationship happening between your kid and their mom, but you also want to be part of the newborn experience. Once your baby is home from the hospital, giving mom a break from the work is an excellent opportunity to start forging your own relationship.
However, bonding with a newborn can be difficult, especially when all you want to do is sit and stare at this tiny person. Over the course of my fatherhood, I’ve been able to ascertain fun activities to do with an infant to facilitate bonding. Here are a few of my favorites.
Showering—This is a life-saver when you want to give mom a break but still need to be productive. Showering with your new baby is a great way to have alone time while simultaneously getting something done—cleaning. A lot of babies are also soothed by the sound of water, so I’ve found this to be a great way to calm babies down. If you’re not comfortable holding your baby in this environment yet, taking a bath together is another excellent option.
Walk outside—Staying cooped up with your newborn can by you stir crazy. Taking baby on walks around the house or down the street is a great way to introduce them to new phenomena. They’re experience something new, you’ll get outside, and you’ll form some memories in the process. Your memories, of course.
Have a song that is only yours—When you spend time with your newborn, choose a special song and play it on repeat. Sing it while they’re trying to get to sleep, and play it when you’re lounging together. This is something your child will appreciate as they grow up, too.
Read together—While your child won’t retain anything read to them in the first couple of years, most infants love being read to. It’s important for babies to hear a lot of words, and choosing a picture book can make the practice mutually beneficial.