“A good father is one of the most unsung, upraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society” – Billy Graham
I knew that marrying my husband meant he would take on many different roles as life evolved around us and that I would get to love him through each new stage of life. There was never a doubt in my mind that he would make a great father and he exceeded those expectations completely.
There are many many reasons why I love this man of mine so much, but one of my most recent new loves is watching him become a father and embracing the roles that come along with it. It is so beautiful to watch my strong, hard working man be so tender and gentle with this tiny bundle of love. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I honestly had no idea that my husband would make the transition into fatherhood look so natural.
Turns out men have a natural instinct for fatherhood
If you’re a new mom, like me, I had no idea what the transition into fatherhood would look like for my husband and I wasn’t sure what role I would play in that process. I honestly can say I was presently surprised to see how smooth it was and I love that I got a front row seat to what is maybe the most beautiful process I’ve ever witnessed. He jumps in to help whenever he gets a chance and makes me feel like we’re a team. Dream team changing diapers over here!
When I watch my son and husband bond, it melts my heart. I know that sounds cliché, but it seriously makes me fall in love with my husband all over again. A dad’s bond with his baby is SO important and I realized that I had the opportunity to help nurture that bond so that it would become even stronger and make sure that dad didn’t get left behind when it came to bonding, especially during the first few months.
“Being both soft and strong is a combination only few have mastered”
Husbands can sometimes feel left out during the newborn phase
This can occur because of the intense bond between mom and baby. In the first few months of my son’s life my husband used to jokingly call me the baby hogger, because Trey was always feeding or just wanted to be snuggled up to his momma at all times and hours of the day..and night. This little tiny human depends so much on mom and her food supply that sometimes dad gets left out. I became extremely intentional with giving dad the time he needs with that little baby.
One of the best ways to stimulate that natural instinct in dads is skin-to-skin.
It significantly helps dad bond with baby and scientifically helps dad transition into fatherhood. Having skin-to-skin with dad promotes high levels of that “feel good hormone”oxytocin, which in turn lowers testosterone levels and promotes a calming and nurturing response in dad. This allows him to be more sensitive to baby’s needs, in-tune with the baby and helps him feel confident about his parenting skills.
Along with skin-to-skin here are a few more tips to help dad step into his role as a father:
10 practical ways to help dad and baby bond
- Make sure dad gets lots of skin-to-skin when they are newborns. Its so important for their bonding time.
- Go take a bath and let the little hangout with dad and watch football.
- Let dad do bedtime. Especially as they get older and are learning to fall asleep alone, it creates great bonding to have dad do bath time, read books and snuggle.
- Have dad hangout with the baby while you cook.
- Let that sleeping baby nap on him.
- Let dad feed him dinner.
- Encourage dad to rub baby’s back, super bennifical for baby and fun for dad.
- Have dad to take the baby in the baby carrier and let baby snuggle up against dad’s chest.
- Encourage dad to do diaper changes. (my husband got a kick out of mastering the diaper)
- Have dad and baby hangout while you go grocery shop. (win win for both of you)
Loving your husband starts with including them in the little things and doing this parenting thing as a team.
Of course it won’t be equal but it can be fun to do some of the little things together, like changing diapers. Because honestly that can definitely be a two person job sometimes. The more you do the little things together, the more connected you feel and your baby can feel that too. It’s important for all parties involved.
There definitely comes a time when that little person will start to want dad sometimes over you, but before that time comes, we need to make sure that our husband feels equally a part of this whole parenthood thing and gets quality bonding time with that tiny baby in your hands.
“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad” -Anne Geddes
As that little one grows up, they start to want dad more and more but during those first few months make sure dad gets quality time in and feels a part of the beginning stages. You don’t want to miss out on watching those two bond and getting to experience that new found love for your best friend.
“Dads are most ordinary men. Turned by love into Heroes, Adventurers, Story-tellers, and Singers-of-songs” -Pam Brown