The first image that flashes across our mind when we think of parental bonding and infants, is that of a new mother holding her baby in her arms and looking at it like it is the most prized possession in the world!
While mothers bonding with their infants is of vital significance and is almost natural, let us not undermine the need for fathers to bond with their newborn children.
Fathers too can suffer from postpartum depression, according to the latest studies. It is thus, very important to establish a strong bond with your infant right from the day it is born, in fact, it is even suggested that they try to establish a connection from the last trimester itself.
What are some of the things that fathers can do to bond with their infants?
- Share as much responsibility as possible with the mother.
- Be a hands-on father.
- Stay up the night and tend to your infant on alternate days.
- Form rituals with your newborn baby
Scientific research shows that a strong father-infant bond leads to the overall development of the baby!
Why is it important to bond with the baby?
Bonding is a significant human emotion, giving babies a sense of safety and self-esteem. Bonding also makes parents feel close to their youngest child of their family. This happens well before the baby comes into being – as you experience the first little floods of your bowels or watch the baby kick on the ultrasound screen. In the sound of your voice, your kid will also get to know you through the womb.
How can you bond with your little one?
In several ways, bonding occurs. You are attached to your baby, as you look at them, stroke their skin, eat and look after them. Rocking your baby to sleep or stroking his/her back will make it feel more relaxed to build your new relationship. They will smile right at you if you look at your newborn.
Benefits of skin-to-skin touch between father and the child
However, Skin-to-Skin is not just for the mother. It is imperative that daddy still participates in the ancient art of snuggling. Indeed, this strong connection with dad has many remarkable advantages as well as with mother. Cold and comfortable in your arms, is the preferred position for your newborn. You also cry less, sleep more, and are happy when your skin is wet. Be that mother or that father.
- The advantages of skin-to-skin with dad are not often as widely promoted, given that breastfeeding is an integral part of this connection. Although if a dad can keep his baby close, skin to skin, we will view oxytocin, the love hormone. The normal relationship between father and infant is created and you fall in love with it. It is the same hormone that makes the uterus of a woman work.
- Fortunately, daddy is allowed to keep their newborn close to intimate contact with the skin when in the ward of motherhood. The approach is quick and restful so that you can get to know your baby in those perfect moments.
- Just find a comfy chair and support your arms and back with jackets, as you may sit down or lay down. Place your baby on your bare chest with just a nappy and cover it with a blanket so you can keep warm. Holding your infant straight, hold your little one with two hands, and enjoy the connective moment when you and your newborn know how vital it is. Slow down the universe.
- Alternatively, as your baby grows up, it is a great way to maintain a connection with a sling or a blanket and keep your baby in close range, to bare chest and hum and speak to your baby while you work around the house.
Encouragement of skin-to-skin with dads has a clear basis on their parenting priorities and expertise, and many men demonstrate greater faith, empathy, and desire to play the part of dad. This is one way to strengthen the dad’s instinctively nurturing instincts.
Benefits of father-infant bonding
- The kid will become emotionally secured in the future.
- They will be much more confident in meeting new people and getting around in new surroundings.
- They will be able to socialize efficiently.
- They will be able to handle tough situations carefully and will not get into trouble either in school or at home.
- They will not easily get addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- The better the bond with the kid, the higher his IQ will be.
Here are Reasons Why is Father-Infant Bonding Time So Significant
Recent studies conducted have shown that there is a very strong correlation between children who share a healthy bond with their fathers and emotionally sound children.
A healthy relationship with the father proves to be beneficial for the entire family in general. Children who are closer to their dads often show exceptional academic and life skills!
In fact, children with hands-on dads have also shown to be physically healthier than children whose dads were absent in contributing to their initial years. Interestingly, spending time with the newborn can also help the father alleviate stress and release some of the tension in his workplace.
Simply Dive in!
Fathers often hesitate or take their time in interacting properly with the infant. In their head, they make plans about what they are going to teach their children once they are a little older. However, fathers should not lose out on this time and jump right in! This will strengthen the bond between the two.
It is important to know that as compared to mothers fathers are anyway losing out a significant amount of time because fathers can only experience the special feeling of fatherhood from the time the kids are born, while the moms start experiencing it from the time of their pregnancy! So make the most of those initial weeks dads!
Create special rituals with the baby
Father and the infant should have certain exclusive activities that they should enjoy with one another. One such activity could be a bathing ritual. The father can make the effort to prepare the bath for the newborn baby and carefully bathe it!
Spend the night with the baby
While mothers have to stay with the infant at night, fathers too can contribute to the caregiving of the infant at night time. From changing diapers to singing lullabies to the baby, do it all dads. Be a hands-on father! This will not only help you bond well with the baby but will also strengthen your bond with the mother and allow her a few hours of sleep!
Read or talk to the baby about your daily life
Your newborn baby might not be able to understand a thing, but talking to it about how your day was at work or about how you feel van be a great start to establishing the life long bond
Trust your fatherly instinct!
Last but not the least, learn to trust your instincts about your child. A lot is spoken about the mother’s instincts but the father’s instincts are about just as sharp if honed properly. Know that this is your child and you are at all times responsible for its wellbeing!
Stay close to your baby
When a mother breastfed an infant, she cuddled her against her chest, so she had a good view of her baby’s eyes. When you are cuddling your infant, or if you are perhaps bottle-feeding your little one, make sure that you keep them in the same place, encouraging your baby to look up at you too while you touch, engage, link and bond naturally.
Wipe off their tears
Though it might be very tempting and simple to give your crying baby back to Mother (who still seems to know what the baby needs). Try humming, walking alongside them, rocking them softly, or seeking the nearest stupidity to suck on. It is good that your baby knows that the mother is not the only one who can give her what she needs.
Make funny faces
Baby loves to look at your face while you’re making funny faces, and they love it. With a giggling, a grin or a gurgle of fun, you will be awarded. You connect them and try fun games like playing peekaboo as your baby grows older.
Boost their mental and physical development
When a father played with him from the outset, the physical and mental growth of a boy was dramatically improved in comparisons to children whose fathers took a more hands-off approach. This will make your kid feel comfortable around you and he will not hide anything from you and always make sure he doesn’t do anything to hurt you.
Here is a list of few important things to know.
- How do babies learn?
Babies learn by discovering their world, by watching, listening, touching, and tasting. The benefit about the fact that they are used to new experiences and repeatedly exposed to previous events. When things happen, again and again, babies start predicting and expecting what’s going to happen next.
They build people’s beliefs of their lives. These standards form the basis of early relationships between children and their caregivers, and this foundation encourages children to develop and prosper.
- What is the simplest yet important thing I can do for my little one?
The biggest thing is the easiest thing: be there and be open. Hundreds of occasions during the early years of childhood are the basic and everyday activities of parenting — picking a baby up when they wake up, change slides, play, drink, calm. These tasks teach children what they can expect from caregivers, how to establish good relationships and how to communicate with others and the environment.
- How long will it take to bond with my child?
Naturally, you feel that special connection for a few days, a few weeks, or months. No single moment, just a slow rise in love can ever happen. It is important therefore not to feel pressure to tie or fail as a mother if you’re not bonded. It is also important.
- What are the reasons that can affect the bonding for the parent or the baby?
Hormones can also influence bonding considerably. Although a baby can help with bonding in the first hours of life, it also allows several different hormones in moms to burst out. It is also difficult for mothers to link with their babies if their hormones rage or if they have postpartum depression.
Becoming a new father, especially if it is for the first time can easily be among the most difficult tasks in the world. You can feel nervous, anxious, or even irritable. However, the joy of holding your child in your arm is worth it all. The bond that is formed at the child’s initial years will last a lifetime so start as early as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Infants tend to remain cranky most of the time but if you have been building a bond with your baby since the time it was in the womb, the infant will recognize a fatherly touch and will not cry.
You should of course do that, as it helps in strengthening the bond that you share with the little one.
Infants will not trust anyone and everyone and also if you do not go ahead and bond with the baby, your wife will be the only person the infant will allow to be around it. This will make managing things difficult for your wife.