Becoming a parent is one of the most unique experiences in the world. It is a life-changing event and entails one feeling a whirlwind of emotions.
The good news is that to-be-dads need not wait till the baby is born to start bonding with the child. Pregnancy is the ideal time to bond and form an attachment with your unborn baby.
How can fathers bond with unborn babies?
- Talking to the mother’s belly seems to be number one of all the tips!
- Being a supportive partner to the mother
- Being a hands-on father
- Reading all about pre and postnatal care
A lot is said and written about how mothers can bond with their unborn babies, however, the more pertinent question remains.
Importance of Dad and baby Bond
Pregnancy is seen as a time of fatherhood transition. A recent study shows that a father’s friendship and dedication to his unborn child and partner can have a profound influence on and put Papa on a path of greater involvement with his child in the coming years in this vital transition. This research has also shown that fathers who have been engaged when they are pregnant tend to have higher work and take more care of the child as he grows up. This applies to low-income fathers in particular.
Dad must communicate with the baby and his social and emotional development, including academic competencies, later have great benefits. We know now that the early social relationships of a newborn are a good predictor of language and academic knowledge. Some studies show that papa’s baby interaction is even better than mom’s interactions.
The more Papa engages with children, the better the score in pre-school and elementary school on languages, literacy, and scholarly reviews! Some moms feel that it is because papas tend to give the baby 100% attention when they play with the baby, while moms prefer to do multitasks. Regardless, the investigation is incredible and an excellent reason to keep Papa in early care and the interactions with the infant as closely as possible.
When can a Dad start bonding?
Throughout pregnancy, we know that it is vital for Papa to be present. But how quickly will the relationship between dad and baby start? We know infants in the uterus can hear. They can feel sounds very early, even before their ears form. The inner ear starts to form gestation by approximately 18 weeks, with infants often showing signs that the uterus can hear the sound before the outer ears. A loud place is a uterus. The amniotic fluid is swinging, the repetitive sound of the heartbeat of babies and moms, and mom’s voice even resonates through the uterus.
Here are Ways in Which Dads Can Bond With Unborn Babies
Make sure to talk to the mother’s belly at every opportunity you get!
It has been established as a fact that an around 18-week old fetus can experience the sound of the mother’s body. It can hear the mother’s heartbeat, stomach rumbling, etc.
At around 26 weeks the unborn baby is sensitive to outside noise. This is when the father can start to talk to the baby. The baby is usually soothed by the mother’s voice. Hearing the father’s voice regularly will help establish a bond between the two.
However, make sure to not expose the unborn baby to too loud noises.
Put the bathroom singer in you to good use!
The fetus also remembers some sounds or tunes of the mother’s voice. Hence, it is a good idea for the to-be-father to sing lullabies to the baby and play soft music to it.
This helps in creating a memory that the unborn baby might faintly remember.
Time for lots of belly rubs!
Babies in the womb are sensitive to sensation from 26 weeks. They can understand if a hand is being rubbed over the belly.
They can even show a response to it by making slight movements. Fathers can gently rub the belly and talk to the baby during this time.
Accompany your partner for Ultrasounds
Another unique experience is going for ultrasounds together. Seeing the movements of the baby together not only brings the couple closer but also attaches the dads to the babies.
Dads can also try to feel the babies kick as often as they can.
Imagination is key!
Dads often dream of teaching their babies all the skills that they know. Buying toys or accessories for the baby while it is still in its mother’s womb might make the dad feel closer to the baby.
Team up with the mother
It might not be possible for the father to actually comprehend the impact of all the hormonal changes that go inside the mother’s body, but, the father should make all the effort possible to be sympathetic with the mother and be sensitive to her needs.
A healthy bond between the parents ensures the mother’s mental wellbeing which further ensures a healthy baby!
Be a hands-on dad
Fathers should attend every prenatal doctor visit with the mother. It is a good idea to also be present at webinars and classes about how to care for newborns.
Fathers can read bedtime stories to the baby bump to create a habit and get the baby used to the father’s presence.
Read up all you can
Knowledge is power and the more expectant dads read up on pregnancy and newborn baby care the more knowledge they will have on how to be hands-on partners and new fathers.
Thinking about the baby also connects the father to the child mentally.
Make a Playlist for your unborn baby
This might seem a bit over the top but music is one of the best ways to express your emotions and curating a list of songs specifically for your baby can bring you both instantly closer.
Go shopping for your little one
Planning the room for your unborn baby can be a great bonding activity with your partner. At the same time, you will be contributing to creating the nursery which will become the world of your unborn baby!
Plan for Paternity leave
Being there for the mother and the newborn after the delivery is super important. Make sure that you plan your schedule in advance so that applying and getting a paternity leave is a smooth process.
Presence is the most important
Last but the most important thing is that the fathers should always be present during childbirth to welcome the baby into the real world.
These are a few of the things that expectant dads can do to establish a bond with the babies. Another very important aspect of being a great father is to always ensure that the mum-to-be is well-taken care of.
The nine months of pregnancy are going to be full of surprises, unexpected challenges and you will feel a myriad of emotions. However, all the anxiety and the sleepless nights will be worth it in the end!
Have a conversation with your friends who have just turned dads
You can say a lot of things about it. Am I going to become a good father, for example? How do I handle this whole task? How will I ever afford to pay the baby all for? And you are not alone, each person is worried but the majority remain busy.
Tell your families, who are daddy, to share your emotions. Speak with them and ask them how they feel before their baby came into existence. You’re going to be astonished at what’s going to happen. Another father can be in our community on the same boat as you.
Experience the kicks
Get along with your wife to feel the movements of the baby. You would enter your wife to feel some of the motions of your newborn. Ask her to remind you when he’s busy and put your hand on the bump to feel the baby kicking. You will be surprised to feel that a person is growing inside the womb. You will feel ecstatic and it will also increase your sense of responsibility.
Start thinking about the name of the baby
What better way than to give a special name to your baby. You already may have a small pet name and may help to build a deeper relationship by speaking to it using that pet name. Both your wife and you have a shortlist of baby names ready for boy and girl before birth. It is a good thing.
If you need inspiration, search for baby names inspired by music, astrology, numerology, mythology, freedom fighter, or even your favorite movie star.
Write letters to your baby
By writing a letter to the newborn, you will envision your toddler and your life as a dad in the future. It may be difficult for you to believe that everything is real until he is born. You want to participate actively in your pregnancy and it will help you to bond. These letters will be like a treasure that you will cherish reading when your kid has grown up or during your old age.
Take your child on a virtual road trip
Some family members are certainly going to be far away, but that doesn’t mean that some people can’t do utero greetings. Familiarize your baby to the voice of your favorite cousin in the States or the sound of your grandma. This will help your baby recognize the voices of his people when he/she will be born.
Spend some time cuddling with the mother and the womb
Lie with your toddler between you, facing your partner. Having a cuddle together is an opportunity to contact your newborn person from the skin to the skin, so it may also include the partner.
How should Dads bond after the baby arrives?
Don’t be afraid, Daddies, when you put your child to sleep to say nursery rhymes as you change diapers, and when you feed her food, tell stories! Use high-quality words, not baby speech, promote eye contact, and pause between phrases to offer a chance for your baby to respond.
The pause and flow of a conversation starter to be understood by children within three weeks. When you take a break, they realize that making sounds is their turn. Answer her sounds and have a back-and-forth exchange. For the language centers of the brain, this is so wonderful.
You have plenty of time before you set curfews, teach your kid how to drive, and provide career guidance and relationships. These teaching opportunities will be a natural progression when your child arrives. Check for community services, including parenting courses, if you need help.
It can help to talk to other parents and spending time discussing topics with which they can struggle. If you feel you have problems working through your dad, try talking with someone — perhaps a counselor or a family member — before the baby comes in to ensure that your relationship with your child has not interfered.
Most schools teach you how to change a diaper, hold your baby, feed and burp your baby, sleep your baby, set up your automotive seat, and childproof the home. When you go to the hospital, you also know where to park the car, how to get through work, and when you get home from the hospital how to look after the baby and your partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I am not a good dad?
Don’t worry, with practice, you can be a perfect dad.
Should I go for paternity leave?
If you get one, you should go for it, as your wife will also need you. Also, this is the ideal time for you to bond with your little one while it is still inside.
Will my baby recognize me after being born?
Yes, babies have water memories and they start recognizing you as soon as they are born.
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“Love, patience, and guidance – these three words describe me the best. I founded “TheRightParent” dedicated to helping parents navigate the ups and downs of raising children. As a father of two children, I have been studying the principles of effective parenting for over a decade and my passion lies in sharing my insights with others. My mission is to empower parents to become better guides for their children