When there’s a new baby, it can feel like you have to do it all. Some dads take the back seat because they are clueless about what to do to help. They are eager to help but they are unsure how to. This list will tell you the best things to let your partner do to bond and help with the baby!
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1.) Change Diapers.
Let dad change diapers. He doesn’t have to do all of them, but he should do enough of them that he feels comfortable. You may be out one day, and he will have to know how to do it. It’s not hard, but it can seem overwhelming cleaning up someone so tiny. No one enjoys changing diapers, but no parent should only do the fun parts. That may lead to resentment in the future, and no one wants that!
2.) Give a Bath.
Involve dad in bath time! It’s easy when they’re small and gets fun when they are older. Some of the times my daughter has laughed the hardest and had the most fun have been in the bathtub. I recently listened to a podcast and the speaker talked about how bath time was her husband’s thing. It was the one thing that is always his responsibility and that it benefitted both of them!
A bath sling like the one pictured below will make bath time easier. It props the baby up so that you can bathe them without worrying about them slipping. Plus, it takes up way less room than a traditional baby bathtub!
3.) Give a Bottle.
This can be tricky if you’re trying to build or maintain your milk supply. If you’re able to pump, then make sure to give yourself a break and allow your partner to feed the baby! I know how easy it is to feel like you should do everything yourself, but allow people to help and give yourself a break. If you exclusively breastfeed, or baby won’t take a bottle, then don’t feel guilty about not doing this. Do whatever works best for you and your family.
If you’re formula-feeding, then this tip will be easier for you. See if your partner wants to wake up with the baby sometimes. The night time bonding is some of the best. There’s nothing like being the only ones awake and getting those baby snuggles!
4.) Go on Walks.
When you have a new baby it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Not too long ago, you only had yourself to take care of and now you have a new person that needs you for everything!
If you start to feel swamped, then ask your partner to take the baby for a walk in the stroller. Babies love to be outside and it’s good to take a few minutes to recharge alone!
5.) Rock to Sleep.
You do not want to get stuck in the position I have found myself in. If anyone other than myself tries to put my daughter to sleep, she F L I P S out. You want to make sure that your baby can fall asleep with different people and with varying methods.
Your partner won’t put the baby to sleep exactly the same way that you do. This will help your baby learn to fall asleep in different scenarios. That is an excellent thing since once your baby is older you will start to have to vary the routine a little bit.
Vacations, visiting family, and riding in the car will happen, and you want your baby to be able to get the rest they need. Not all babies will go for this, but it’s something that would be good for everyone if you try! Learn from my mistake!
6.) Read a Bedtime Story.
It is never too early to start reading to your baby. It is great for language development and bonding. Plus, babies love to hear someone talking to them. When my daughter was an infant, I got some of the books I loved as a child to read to her. She loved listening, and I enjoyed revisiting some old favorites.
This is something that anyone can do, so be sure to have plenty of books on hand for anyone looking to bond with the baby! My daughter’s grandparents love reading to her, and she loves it too!
The Little Critter books were my favorite as a child, and I have loved reading them to my daughter!
In this article,
I mention a lot about how important it is to take time for yourself. For some moms, this will come easy, but for others, it takes some time. There’s nothing abnormal about feeling either way.
I had severe post-partum anxiety that made me feel like I was going to be sick any time I was away from my daughter. Feeling that way is not healthy for you or your family, so if you are feeling similarly, please talk to your doctor.