Having a newborn baby is a fun, exciting experience. Sometimes it’s simpler for moms to bond with baby because they’re breastfeeding and/or are the primary caregiver. While this bonding is important, it’s also equally vital for dads and babies to bond. Here are five simple tips for dad and baby bonding:
1. Become part of the routine.
Dads, chat with your partner about how to incorporate one-on-one time into your child’s daily routine. Whether it’s taking charge at bath time, or having special story time, setting aside a daily action that is just for dad and baby is a wonderful way to encourage bonding.
2. Share feedings and the night shift.
Sharing feedings and the night shift with your partner is another great way to bond with your baby. It gives you time during those special, quiet moments to look into your child’s eyes and have one-on-one time. It also helps your partner get some much-needed rest. So it’s a win-win.
3. Baby wear like it’s your job.
Baby wearing is pretty much the best. It allows you to perform other activities (like cleaning, walking, shopping, etc.) whilst also bonding with your baby. She will become even more accustomed to your smell and presence this way too.
4. Kangaroo care is for dads, too.
Kangaroo care (aka, skin-to-skin) is important for moms AND dads. This is another great way for baby to familiarize herself with your scent, and your heartbeat is also soothing to your little one. Sit down on the couch and watch your favorite, low-key show, or just enjoy the cuddle time. Because cuddling is pretty much the best, anytime.
5. Learn how to soothe.
Since babies all have their own unique personalities and stressors, learning how to soothe your child is a great way to bond with her. Learn the nuance of her cries, and be the one to pick her up and figure out what soothes your little one. Whether it’s bouncing on an exercise ball, or walking around the room, learning what works will empower you with the knowledge you need to help your baby.
What are some of your favorite tips for dad and baby bonding?
Humans were created with the ability to feel emotion, so it’s entirely okay to feel all the feels when you decide to leave a career to become a stay at home mom. It’s new, it’s different, and it’s sad to leave familiarity. Read this guide for tips to help you make the transition from a working mom (or dad) to a stay-at-home mom (or dad).
Don’t underestimate your value
All changes are hard. There is an adjustment period and perhaps even somewhat of a grieving period as you face giving up something you’ve done for so long and worked so hard to attain. It is normal and expected to feel mixed emotions, so let them process. However, don’t ever give in to the notion that being a stay-at-home-mom is less important than any other job. Different doesn’t mean unequal. Just like society depends on jobs in every sector of the market to keep things going, society needs mothers to raise the next generation into good, responsible adults. There’s a very strong argument for parenthood being one of the most important jobs you can have. After all, if we all decided there were more important things to do than having and raising children, we would be the last generation on earth, wouldn’t we?
Take care of yourself
Even though you’re leaving your job, you don’t have to leave your hobbies and the rest of your routine. If a regular yoga class was important to you, keep it. If a monthly girls night out was always on the schedule, maintain the tradition. It’s important to take care of yourself, for you are important as well, despite how demanding a baby can be. It may be hard to find a balance between juggling the responsibilities of taking care of a baby and self-care, but remember that there are others in your shoes. Create a support system of other new moms to share advice, tips, and favors as you all try to navigate this big change in your life. There are a lot of online support groups on Facebook, Instagram, etc. where you can share advice, stories, or just vent.
Consider at-home work
If you have plans to return to work in the future, perhaps you can work part-time from home or volunteer occasionally to maintain your skills and an updated resume. It may not be in the cards for a few months or even years, but there will always be work to be done and help that is needed in the world and your willingness to serve and experience as a mother will be valuable.
One way to help you adjust to the changes and overcome the feelings of grief from leaving a career is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Realize that there are many parents that must return to work shortly after baby is born out of necessity, and wish they would stay at home. Consider your routine before you came home – waking up, drinking coffee, getting to work on time, taking a scheduled lunch break, coming home in traffic, unwinding with Netflix, etc. Chances are, your new routine with your baby is a lot less predictable and, what’s more, it’s full of amazing milestones! You get to watch a human take their very first steps, speak their very first word, and literally watch them grow before your eyes. That is an incredible miracle.
This will become your “new normal.” You will get into a routine, learn what to do, and become an expert at raising your child, and after a while, you will probably realize you can’t imagine doing anything else. Life is too short and childhood especially is too short to spend a single minute worrying what anyone else is doing or what anyone thinks about you. Nobody else in the entire world or history of the world is the same as you or your children, so the way you live your life should not be compared to anyone else. Trust your instincts and realize this precious time is so short. I mean, do you remember much of your childhood? Especially the early years fly by so quickly, so realize that this is just a phase of life, and give it your best shot.
Treat it like a job
Every job requires continuing education, consistent training, etc. Parenthood is no different. It doesn’t always come natural, and other people do have advice and techniques you might not know about that could help you. So read books and articles, and devote time to learning more about this job to be the best mom you can be. After all, no other job in the world was as tailor-made for you as being the mother to your own child.
What helped you adjust from being a working mom to a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Share with us below!
We’re introducing you to the amazing fathers who brought Owlet to life. But before we dive in, I want to share a few observations regarding these men. First of all, coordinating a photo shoot is not easy – especially ones involving children. These men (with the help of their amazing wives) owned every minute of it. I was impressed to see how genuine and sincere each interaction was with their children during the entire session. As the day went on, it became increasing clear to me that these men are fathers first. Their passion to help children and infants around the world starts in the home. As a father myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a work-life balance and these guys get it. I’m grateful to know each of them personally and can’t wait to see what they dream up next. – Evan Griffin, Brand Director – dad to Vienna 6, Rome 4 and London 2
Kurt Workman – CEO & Co-founder
Dad Tip: Be more patient. My biggest regret as a father has been that I wasn’t more patient with my first child. I realized parenting is tough and new for me but everything was new for my child. Literally he was doing everything for first time and I needed to see it as an opportunity to teach rather than an opportunity for me to be frustrated.
Kids: 2 (Ages 3 & 1)
Favorite Children’s Book: Llama Llama Red Pajama
Jordan Monroe – Co-founder
Dad Tip: Realize that your kids can teach you about being happy and how to be in the moment. It’s really easy to want to just get from point A to point B and get frustrated that your kid is not walking fast enough. Instead I try to enjoy whatever is slowing down my son. We might get detoured by a bird for 20 minutes or a puddle for 15 minutes but the reason my son wants to stay and see/play with it is because he is interested and is enjoying himself. I try to enjoy it with him and it makes me a more patient and happy dad.
Kids: 2 (Ages 2 & 10 months)
Favorite Disney Movie: Zootopia
Zach Bomsta – CTO & Co-founder
Dad Tip: Be sure to find time each day to truly be in the moment with your children and not just physically present. This is harder than it sounds when you have so many things competing for your attention. Email, deadlines, notifications; they can all wait. Spend quality time with your kids.
Kids: 2 (Ages 4 & 2)
Favorite Snack Time Treat: Oreos
Jacob Colvin – International & Co-founder
Dad Tip: Give your kids your best time. It will be tempting or most convenient to give them whatever you have left at the end of the day but that isn’t fair to them. I ask myself, “How do I want my kids remember me?” The answer never is tired, exhausted and stressed with work. Find the time of the day where you can be the type of dad your kids deserve.
Kids: 3 (Ages 8, 6 & 7 months)
Favorite Playtime Activity: Science experiments, building forts and singing silly songs.
Oh hey there, dads. How are you doing? Feeling good about being a dad? We thought so. Today, we’re focusing on you and sharing ten tips for dad and baby bonding. Because dad and baby bonding is pretty great.
1. Practice kangaroo care.
Kangaroo care is a fancy name for skin-to-skin contact. Said contact is beneficial both for baby and for the parent. Take time to cuddle with your little one to physically bond. Baby will become acquainted with your smell and can be comforted by it. Plus, cuddling is pretty much the best anyway.
2. Participate in feedings.
Whether it’s feeding baby via bottle or helping bring mama the baby to breastfeed, feeding time can be a meaningful time to bond with your baby. Taking over for some of the night feedings is also a great opportunity to get some quality one-on-one time with your child. Try holding the bottle in a position that allows for you to make eye contact with your baby.
3. Engage in soothing.
It’s important to engage with your child when she’s upset. Practice different soothing methods (walking around, singing, using a pacifier, etc.) and also try to learn to differentiate between her cries.
4. Set aside time for play.
While playtime for newborns isn’t the most exciting, it’s important nonetheless. Helping baby with tummy time, engaging her with interactive toys and just being present are all ways that you can engage in playtime.
5. Become a diaper-changing expert.
Let’s be honest here, changing a diaper is not the most fun parental task. However, when you share childcare duties with your partner (including diaper changes) you are able to better familiarize yourself with your child’s routine.
6. Take a personal day.
Playing a nurturing role when your baby is sick is important, so try to make her sick days yours too. Also, if possible, try to attend her well-child checkups too, so you can hear from the doctor and ask questions about her growth and development.
7. Be a part of the bedtime routine.
Consistency is key when you’re trying to establish a healthy sleeping schedule. So choose a part of the routine that you’d like to be involved in, be it bath time, story time, singing time or feeding time. This can help your baby understand that when you say it’s story time, etc. that it’s almost bedtime.
8. Baby wear to keep her close.
Baby wearing is a wonderful way to get in some physical contact time, while still being able to get other tasks done. So when you’re working from home, or you’re cleaning the house, you can put baby in a wrap or carrier and still complete your tasks. Going for a walk is also a nice activity that you both will enjoy.
9. Read stories.
Reading stories is a great way to help you child’s brain develop, and also create a fun dad/child routine. Pick some of your favorites from childhood for added fun.
10. Make silly faces.
Making silly faces is a great way to bond. As your child gets older, this can morph into simple games like peek-a-boo. There are few sounds better than a baby’s laugh.