The New Dad: Ways to Bond with Baby
Congratulations—you're a dad! New fathers, especially first-timers, may not yet feel sure in the role of Dad. To help you adjust to your new job—one of the most important of your life—celebrate fatherhood by finding your own ways to bond with Baby.
Bonding Around Breastfeeding
According to Hogan Hilling, author of The Man Who Would Be Dad, it’s important to understand the bonding process first. “It is not just something that happens,” he says. “You are building a relationship, and bonding will take time. Remember that your wife had a nine-month head start and a physiological advantage—she carried the baby.”
If Mom is breastfeeding, you may feel out of the feeding loop. But, according to Hilling, “although you can’t breastfeed, there are other ways you can help in the process.”
Ask your wife to wake you up in the middle of the night to help with the feeding of the baby. “You can bring the baby to Mom … rock the baby to sleep after the feeding. This is a great time to spend with the baby, because there are no distractions in the still of the night. It is just you and the baby,” says Hilling.
Hilling also suggests attending a breastfeeding class with your wife. “The more you understand what is involved in breastfeeding a child the more you can become involved in the whole process,” he says.
Call and talk with your wife’s lactation consultant, and be the middleman, says Hilling. “Keep her posted on the progress your wife is or isn’t making,” he says. “If your wife is having trouble breastfeeding, you may be able to provide some input that will help the lactation consultant resolve any breastfeeding challenges that Mom might be dealing with.”
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