Dad… A son’s first hero… A daughter’s first love.
Dads can be just as nurturing and sensitive with their babies as Moms. When dads spend time with their babies, they get to know exactly what each of their baby’s signals mean. Dads can respond sensitively when they know their baby well – for example, which cry means baby is hungry and which cry means baby simply wants a change of scenery.
Here are 5 things Dad can do to bond with his new baby:
- Wear baby in a sling ~ If baby is warm and dad is relaxed, baby will sleep happily close to Dad’s heartbeat.
- Make eye contact ~ Baby will love staring into your eyes. It’s like you are listening to him!
- Read to baby ~ Baby will be soothed by dad’s low tone of voice.
- Settle baby to sleep ~ Rock, sway and sing to baby. Baby will settle for dad just as well as mom.
- Do basic baby care ~ Bathing baby, getting baby dressed, changing diapers, and putting baby in car seat are all things dad can do. Be sure to make lots of eye contact, talk to and bond with baby.
Did you know? One study found that children scored higher on tests of empathy (caring about others) if they had secure attachments to their dads during infancy. These children were able to recognize how other children felt and took steps to make them feel better.