Hey dad-to-be, it’s important to find ways to get involved in the baby bonding experience so you can feel that amazing connection with your baby from the start. We know bonding can sometimes feel a bit more challenging for you – since moms are with the baby all the time. But, there are definitely some things you can do as a dad to increase your early bonding experience.
Here are seven ways we feel that new dad-to-be’s can start bonding with baby even before the big day.
- Talk, talk, talk. Studies have shown that babies are comforted by the sounds of their parents’ voices and that they are able to recognize the voice of their mother and father right away after birth. Dads should take time to talk, sing or read to their unborn babies every day – their voice is just as important as Mom’s voice.
- Up close and personal. Dads can touch or gently massage their wife’s belly to make a physical connection with their unborn baby throughout the pregnancy. Chances are mom will enjoy this rub-down too.
- Keep track. Dads who enjoy writing should be encouraged to keep a journal of baby’s milestones, such as writing down how they felt the first time they heard the baby’s heartbeat. Dad can write letters to his unborn baby to tell his baby how excited he is to meet him or her. Dads often can understand the concept of legacy even before the baby is born and value the transfer of knowledge and experience. Such letters might be funny or sentimental, but will be a treasured experience the two can share years later.
- Team up. Mom might be carrying the load, but she needs her husband’s support throughout the process – after all, it takes a village to raise a baby. Dad should make an effort to participate in all prenatal doctor visits, ultrasound visits, birthing classes, and he should help shop for the baby’s nursery too.
- Play DJ. Create an ideal playlist for your forthcoming kid–and then pump the music into her cozy little apartment. That is, take some headphones and place them gently around your partner’s pregnant belly. This is your chance to give your kid some great musical taste. Why not make him the only fetus on the block to appreciate Kanye or Tom Waits or Phoenix or whatever you think is cool. It’s a chance to make your kid a lifelong fan of (what you define as) good music. But don’t crank it up too much, warns Katherine Moore, an early childhood music educator: “The hearing of fetuses and infants is extremely sensitive, which means the sound levels we expose them to need to be on the gentle side.”
- Feeling your baby kicking you for the first time is a very special experience. Sometimes, you can even try to have a conversation with the baby and see if the baby responds by kicking or moving. In the last trimester, babies move a lot and it is amazing to see how active they are. As a dad, it is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have.
- Help with Planning. There is a lot of planning you need to do in the last trimester as you prepare to welcome the arrival of your little one. Try to participate in all the decisions around the baby’s life as much as you can. It will help you bond with the baby more as you try to anticipate what the little one will need when they enter this world as a new born.