New Dads often feel left out of the little world created by Mom and Baby. Here are 7 Ways New Dads Can Be More Involved With Baby & feel more useful.
Being a New Dad is difficult. You are over the moon at being promoted to this new position in your life but there is also a sense of responsibility. At the same time it’s really hard to find where you fit in the new family dynamic. Everything revolves around the new baby and Mom, especially in the initial days. This can lead to some dads feeling worthless or neglected.
Granted, Dads can’t breastfeed, and baby may need Mom to be comforted, but there are still many ways for any new dad to get involved. Dads can feel useful and use these ways as a great way to bond with the new baby. What’s more, Mom gets a much-needed break!
It’s important to remember that your role as new daddy is still very valuable and the more you get involved the easiest it will be for your family.
1. Form A Bond Fast
Newborns are stimulated greatly by touch. An excellent way to form an instant and lasting bond with your new baby is skin to skin contact. Remember, this doesn’t need to be difficult or burdensome.
Find a snug and warm place in the home, remove your shirt or t-shirt and place your baby right on top of your heart. The best position is one that allows them to feel and hear your heart beating. This will be a very familiar beat and will help ease and soothe your baby naturally.
2. Take the Night Shift
One of the most helpful things you can do to help out is to forfeit some sleep. Newborns take up an incredible amount of mummy’s time and energy. Usually, by the end of the day, she will be noticeably drained and exhausted.
Try to accommodate her by being available in the night to help out with settling the baby. The dreaded “Graveyard shift” (12am – 4am) is usually the most difficult to do, but if you can find the energy to take over it won’t go unrecognised.
Remember, emotions can be raised with a massive reduction in sleep. By giving mummy more time to sleep you will be worth your weight in gold!
3. Take over Diaper Duty
One powerful way for daddy to feel useful is to do get more involved with diaper responsibilities. Although this isn’t always a pleasant job, it still needs to be done. It’s also not shocking that most new daddies shy away from it.
Try to see it as a unique bonding time for you and your new baby. Singing a nursery rhyme or a song is the perfect thing to do while you take care of “business”
Changing diapers doesn’t have to be a constant struggle and the more you do it the better you’ll get at it.
4. Get a Baby Carrier
A smart way to balance duties is to get a durable and purpose-built baby carrier. This will help you carry out everyday household duties and simultaneously bond with your new baby.
Remember to ensure that the baby carrier is fitting for your baby’s age and that you have all the straps and harness precisely in place.
The more you use it, the easier it will become and this means you’ll be more productive at home, bond more with the new baby and give your wife more time off! (everyone wins)
5. Massage the Baby
The best part about being a new dad is getting to do the enjoyable stuff. Massaging your new baby is a relaxing task that has very beneficial effects for both of you.
Newborns are stimulated greatly by touch and massaging baby stimulates the central nervous system, which triggers serotonin (the feel-good hormone).
Consequently, you will be helping the baby’s mind to grow and support them while they reach developmental milestones faster.
6. Be a Fun Dad
Too many dads overthink the concept of play. Babies are entertained by almost anything and as newborns, they just need to be stimulated with frequent communication, touch and contact.
For the first few weeks, your newborn will probably not respond much to the things you do, so it can be a bit daunting at first. But if you stick to it, the hard work will pay off.
The first time you pull a silly face or do you best “Mickey Mouse” Impression and they smile back, it will be completely worth it.
7. Make Bath time Fun
Bathing your newborn can be one of the most pleasant activities you ever do. It’s so fascinating to watch them kick, splash and play in the water. It’s a very rewarded duty and the best part is you’ll still be helping out.
Remember, getting more involved with your new baby shouldn’t be a strain. It can be the most rewarding time in your life to bond with a new baby.
At the end of the day, you’ll figure out your own rhythm with the new baby. Never be scared to ask for help and remember that practice always make perfect!
Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music. He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time! You can find his parenting blog here: www.ParentalQuestions.com.