10 WAYS YOU CAN BOND WITH YOUR BABY (Part 2)
THE NOVICE DAD'S ULTIMATE GUIDE
Here's our last set of ways to make your baby-bonding experience effortless.
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MAKING CONTACT WITH YOUR SKIN
You need to have as much skin-to-skin contact with your baby as possible. Of all your baby's five senses; the sense of touch develops fastest especially during the early stages of their development after their born. "There is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after birth helps babies and their mothers in many ways," says UNICEF, United Kingdom. Certainly, fathers are not excluded from this. UNICEF sites these as benefits of skin-to-skin contact for babies; calms and relaxes baby; regulates the baby's heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb; stimulates digestion and interest in feeding and regulates baby's temperature.
So do cradle your baby close to you during bottle-feeding and afterwards, snuggle against him or her during bedtime when you're stretching your vocal cords to lull him or her to sleep, plant kisses on baby's cheeks, nose or forehead, cuddle him or her when reading to them, give your baby gentle squeezes on his or her hands and toes, give the baby a hug after a shower together or place him or her on your bare chest.
"Skin to skin stimulates all kinds of natural responses in both of you that cement bonding. And start right there in the hospital when she's born; as soon as mama is ready to hand her over to you, consider settling her right on your chest." Carly the Mommy, Mommy On Purpose, follow her on Facebook
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When your baby cries or gets sick is not the time to take cover (it's not raining bombshells, lol!) it's rather a perfect time to get into your element and show what a great dad you can be - this is the time to shower your baby with all the TLC you can come up with it. Trust us, you'll be glad you did because when your baby feels better after all the soothing, he or she will feel a deeper connection with you because he or she will see you as a source of comfort, affection and security.
That way, when they grow up they always know who to turn to when their unhappy or in danger. Some ways you can soothe a baby are by singing to them, rocking them while singing, wearing them on you with a carrier (or a sling) or simply waiting for them to quiet down on their own.
Try baby pacifiers but it's best to learn how to calm your baby on your own first before relying on gadgets. Moreover, your baby needs to feel soothed first from a human touch than from a physical object.
"Make a point to go to healthy doctor checkups too, so you can hear from the doctor how he/she developing and growing." Kaelin Zawlinski, Parents
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Most new dads shy away from this 'not-so-cool' task but changing diapers is actually a great way to bond with your baby.
Your baby is probably used to only mummy doing this so when you switch hats he or she begins to recognise you as the other parent and adapts to this new development and that's a right step towards bonding with you. Besides, catching a whiff of your baby's poo can't be that bad at all – in fact, it's all part of the baby-bonding – haha! But do get some tutorials from the pro herself on how to diaper-change before you try anything.
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GOING FOR A WALK
Having a change of environment can be awesome for your baby – he or she will love to see something else apart from the four corners of his or her home or crib. That's why going for a walk can be a great source of fun and also helps with the baby's mental development as he or she begins to explore his or her world. Most importantly, it also makes for a great way to establish your own routine with your baby when mommy needs to take a nap or do something for herself like go to the salon. You and baby can get to catch some special time together which is key for the daddy-baby bonding experience. You can carry your baby around in a pram or wear him or her around you with a carrier or sling – the latter is better as it brings you closer to your wee one as you go on this exciting adventure!
Make sure baby is wrapped up in something to keep him or her warm or wears warm clothing if it's chilly outside or let him or her wear a baby hat or smear some baby sunscreen on his or her skin if it's rather sunny.
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HAVING CHORE TIME
It's kind of weird but strapping your baby on with a carrier and doing some household chores together helps you to bond with him or her because it's also another way of establishing your own routine with your baby.
So don't be surprised when baby gets all excited when he sees you grab the vacuum cleaner to do some cleaning because he or she knows that chore time means me-and daddy-time - mommy is out of the picture (especially if you do this very often).
Moreover, you may be surprised - you could be teaching your baby good work ethics right from the start.
You may also want to consider connecting with other dads for some morale support – being a new dad can be very challenging and there's nothing that can be as comforting as sharing the load with someone who's been there before. It will also be a good idea to take paternity leave since a major hindrance to most new dads bonding with their babies is the lack of time.
Now you have it all – our complete set of the best baby-bonding advice for new dads you can find on the planet! Hope you make a headway forming that deep connection with your baby using them. We can't wait to hear all about it – best of luck!
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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