How to Nurture a Daddy-Baby Bond

How to Nurture a Daddy-Baby Bond | Baby Chick

How to Nurture a Daddy-Baby Bond

One of my very favorite things about being a parent is watching my husband play with and bond with our kids. They love him to pieces, ask for him constantly when he’s not home, and climb all over him when he is.

But, when they were babies, it was so tricky for him to bond with them. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. He is one of the most engaged dad’s I’ve ever met and worked so hard to bond with them from the day they were born. But I cannot tell you how many times they would cry for mommy when daddy was trying to hold them or play with them. He was so defeated. He was putting everything into bonding with them, and he felt like they were rejecting him.

I’m a numbers girl, so when my son was about 3 months old, I calculated it out . . . I had nursed him about 8 times a day since the day he was born, which meant at only 3 months old, I had already nursed him over 700 times. Wow! That is 700 times that he expressed a need and I was the only one who could meet it. He had already learned in his little 3 months of life that mommy was the jam!

But of course, we knew that Daddy was also just as awesome – we just had to convince baby of it. Thus began our quest to find ways to nurture the Daddy-Baby bond. Here’s what worked for us.

1. Find ways for Dad to meet baby’s physical needs.

We found that it really helped our babies to bond with Daddy when he helped to meet their physical needs, in addition to snuggling with them or playing with them. He started helping with one feeding each day while I pumped a bottle for the next day, rocking them to sleep, giving baths, changing diapers, and helping to feed them solid foods once they got big enough.

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2. Leave Dad and baby alone together.

When Daddy is taking care of baby, give them some space. This doesn’t mean I necessarily leave the house (although it can be a good chance to take a little break). I’ve found it helps though to at least leave the room so that baby isn’t scrambling to be as close to me (and milk) as possible. Sometimes baby cries when I leave the room, but within a few minutes, Daddy has distracted him and they have special time to play and and strengthen that daddy-baby bond.

3. Let Daddy be the one to “save the day.”

Our babies HATED the car seat when they were infants. After hearing them scream and cry for an entire drive, you know my momma heart wanted to jump out of the car and rescue them the second we parked the car. But, when Daddy was in the car with us to, I refrained from jumping out of my seat and let Daddy be the one to save the day. He would get them out of their car seat and soothe them until all was right with the world again. To this day, Daddy is the designated boo-boo kisser in our house. If one of our kids gets hurt and Daddy is home, they do not want mommy to comfort them. They scream, “I want Daddy” until he comes to kiss the boo-boo . . . and again, all is right with the world.

4. Recognize and celebrate the things that are unique about your child’s relationship with Dad.

As your baby grows, there will be things that are unique about their daddy-baby bond. Sometimes these things may not be super obvious, but keep your eye out for them and you’ll see them. For my daughter, I’ve learned that she is always much more secure when Daddy is home. My son is calmer and listens better when Daddy is home. Our baby loves when Daddy starts singing to her. When you find the thing that is special about your baby’s relationship with Daddy, look for opportunities to point it out to him. It will mean the world to him to know the special ways that baby responds when he is around.

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5. Remind Dad to keep at it.

Even if baby makes Daddy put in extra work to bond in these early months, the time and effort is so very worth it. As baby gets bigger, their needs will change, and their bond with Daddy will grow. Our 5 year old and 3 year old cannot get enough of their dad now and I know their daddy-baby bond will only continue to deepen as they get older.

About the Author /

Lauren is a wife and momma to 3 little people. She spends her days working on the marketing team at Kindred Bravely and finding creative ways to engage her kiddos in the world around them. She loves all things that center around moms and babies!

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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
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Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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