Why are Dads important?
The father plays a crucial role in the development of their child, both socially and psychologically.
Research has shown that babies who develop a healthy bond with their dads are better off in every aspect of their lives, from performing better in school to establishing healthy and intimate friendships and relationships and having higher self-esteem and confidence.
Fathers, who spend quality time with their children from the very beginning, improve their babies' mental and physical development significantly more than those who don't. Proactive dads also suffer from lower levels of stress which makes Daddy bonding a win-win situation.
How to Build a Baby-Dad Relationship?
If you want to play a more significant role in your baby's life, then the following list will be beneficial. Here are five great ways for Dads to bond with their children:
- Rock-a-bye Baby: Babies are often familiar with rhythmic movements after being rocked in the mother's womb. That's why they settle easily when you sway or rock them in your arms. Whether you rock your baby while singing a lullaby at night or bop your baby around the living room in the day, you'll strengthen your bond and feel closer to your child. They will also feel safe and secure in daddy's loving arms.
- Skin-on-skin contact:Babies thrive on skin-on-skin contact! For them, there’s nothing more satisfying than snuggling up with your bare skin and feeling your heartbeat through your chest. But don't take our word for it; a study in 2007 found that newborns who were placed directly onto their father's bare chest after a C-section delivery would calm down and go to sleep faster than those that would be placed in a cot. Take out time every day to snuggle your baby close to your bare chest. It'll be as rewarding for you as it is for them.
- Participate in feeding: Being with your baby when they're feeding is an intimate and close way of bonding with your child. If you've chosen to breastfeed the baby exclusively, then you can keep close and be there to provide your love and support along with gentle strokes and cuddles afterward. If your partner chooses to bottle-feed the baby, you can take on some of the feeds yourself.
- Goof around: Whether it's peek-a-boo, dancing, or making funny faces, being playful with and around your baby is an excellent way to bond. Discover your special dad-moments, goof around and have fun. As your child grows, these moments will be more frequent and enjoyable.
- Reading time: Your baby will already be familiar with your voice if you spoke to them in the womb. To go one step further, talking to your newborn will help you two become closer. Another great way to bond with your baby is by reading to them. At this stage of their life, they won't understand what you're reading to them, but they'll grow to love and cherish your voice. Later on, bedtime stories can become a memorable bonding experience for you and your child.
Dr. Sharon Fried Buchalter Ph.D., is a distinguished clinical psychologist, life coach, and public speaker who has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical social worker. She received the highest accreditation as a board-certified diplomate-fellow in advanced child and adolescent psychology. She has spent her lifetime educating, enlightening and empowering parents and children of all ages.
She has developed revolutionary tools to help couples, parents, and families achieve happiness and success. Her first book Children Are People Too, provides eight essential steps designed to strengthen families and empower parents to be their own child’s life coach and mentor. Her second book New Parents Are People Too, provides relationship advice for couples entering parenthood for the first time.
She is also the founder and owner of Products On The Go. And Little Toes.