Modern day dads are much more hands on and involved than, say, a couple of decade ago. From birthing classes to Lamaze classes, they actively take part in bringing their kids into this world. They help their partner through her motherhood journey, and some even stay in hospital rooms to encourage them during labor.
However, a father’s duty into parenting truly begins when their child arrives into this world. If you are a new dad, you can do a lot of things to make the bond with your new baby stronger. Becoming a new father can be a daunting task, but there are some things to keep in mind that will help you, your new baby and your partner, ease into parenthood.
Tips for New Dads
Here are some tips that will help new dads to get through the early days of parenthood.
1. Time and Patience
The most important thing that any new father can do is simply spend time with his newborn. Researchers in the early years of father-infant bonding could not find fathers spending enough time with their infants, to study the effects of the same, and its impact could not be measured in scientific terms. However, it need not be emphasised just how important the time spent with your infant can be. Along with time, you will need to have some patience for your little one to get to know each other. Be gentle with yourselves and allow for some learning, experimentation and mutual tolerance to learn and know about each other.
2. Keep Eye Contact
One of the things that all new parents should remember is that babies can only see clearly about a foot in front of them. This is why they are known to be drawn to the human face and look at us intently when we hold them close. Babies have a preference for the human face in general, and eye contact in particular. So remember to smile. Stay close, and look them in the eye in their early days.
3. Infants love motion
Your little one loves to be held, swayed and jiggled. There is a reason why infants love motion. Movement helps them develop everything from their brains to their sense of balance. When you hold your baby, you give them a feeling of security by not holding them too tight or too loose. Don’t be afraid to hold, sway and cuddle. Learn what your baby likes and cultivate that motion. Be the one with that magic touch when your baby needs it the most.
4. Change their diaper
If you want to help your significant other when the baby arrives, help her change the diaper. Learn the art of diapering and treat it as a shared duty with mom. This will not only let your partner relax, but is also a great boost for your relationship. By helping her manage this duty, you not only build a bond with your baby, but also leave a lasting impression on your partner.
5. Get up for late night feeds
Newborn babies wake up several times during the night for their feed. So if your little one is waking up crying at two in the morning, your breastfeeding partner will have to get up with the baby. Just sit there and give her company, share stories about your day or just discuss about your baby. You could also take over the burping duties for your little one and feel good in the process. These late-night feedings could really be a great time for closeness between you and your significant other.
6. Be responsive
Your little one is just learning how to be in the world. Look for signs such as a reach, a look, a cry, or anything that they do to make a connection with you. Let them know you appreciate their effort by responding to them. Studies have shown that parents who are responsive to their infant’s cries and needs, help them develop better communication and language skills.
7. Do some research and trust yourself
Raising a child does not come with a book or manual. There is no right or wrong way to parent and raise kids right. While there are plenty of books to advice you on what to do and what not to do, you need to decide for yourself what works for you. Talk to other parents, read books, parenting magazines, doctors, and online articles to get as much information as possible, then decide which of them makes the most sense to you. Don’t go with the things that don’t feel right in your gut. If it feels wrong to you, it’s probably wrong for your baby.
The time you have with your little one is sure to fly by quickly. So make sure you take the time to enjoy it. Take time out of work to be with them. Take them out for a walk or just relieve your partner from her mommy duties for a bit. You’re sure to cherish every moment spent with your infant. For any doubts, be sure you accompany your partner for her doctor and pediatrician visits when the baby arrives, and be a more hands on dad. At KIMS Cuddles, our team of doctors will help you learn the ropes of parenting your little one.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.