Parental bonding with an infant is a key developmental process in the first year of life. Such bonding promotes the infant’s attachment to the parent and has been associated with various positive developmental outcomes at later ages. The quality and quantity of parent-infant interaction greatly influence this process. Here are some ways for dads to bond with their babies.
1. Skin-to-Skin Contact
Skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby promotes bonding. Cuddling, carrying, and even changing your baby can help you achieve the necessary skin-to-skin contact that your child needs to feel loved, safe, and protected.
2. Play With Baby
Dads can bond with their babies by playing with them, which gets them physically active, stimulates the development of the parent-child relationship, and promotes the growth of a positive attachment between the parent and child. Fathers who play with their children regularly have been shown to have higher scores on questionnaires of physical affection than men who do not play with their children as often.
3. Father-Child Traditions
Father-child traditions such as bedtime stories, singing lullabies, baby-naming ceremonies, and more can be a special time for you and your baby to bond. Traditions are good to follow because they allow the baby and father to build a strong relationship and help the child feel secure in their family.
4. Reading to Baby
Reading aloud to your baby stimulates the brain’s language development. Reading also promotes bonding, which promotes language development and a sense of security for the baby. Furthermore, reading aloud to children is associated with improved literacy and higher test scores at school age. Therefore, make reading aloud a part of your bedtime routine to encourage bonding.
5. Being Present
Bonding between fathers and babies comes from being present during the first year of their life. The time spent together is important for bonding and for giving the baby a sense of security in their early years.
6. Baby Massage
Baby massage helps the father-child bond by getting the baby used to being touched. Facial, scalp, and body massages help fathers get in tune with their babies’ needs and provide them with a sense of closeness that never goes away. Bonding between you and your baby is important for the health of your child. The above are some simple ways that you can bond with your baby. Think about what you enjoy doing with your baby, and try them out.