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My husband was completely jealous of my bond with our breastfed newborn, so he found other ways to form a lasting bond with our baby.
Many dads worry about not bonding with their newborn baby who is exclusively breastfed. This is mainly because of the recent rise in moms who are deciding to exclusively breastfeed their babies.
But the truth is that while breastfeeding is an amazing bonding experience that I cannot even put into words, there are several other ways for dads to spend quality time with their baby even if they are breastfed.
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My husband, David, is an amazing daddy and loved creating a special bond with our children right from birth. Saying that he loves babies is actually an understatement. He is just very affectionate with them and loves having newborns in the house.
When our son was born, we had both agreed that breastfeeding was the way to go but my husband seemed disappointed that our newborn baby spent most of his time at my breast and he didn’t have much time to bond with right away.
It was then that he decided to be completely involved in other parts of raising our newborn baby so that he could have his very own special daddy time with our son.
Here are 12 super helpful ways that my husband was able to bond and also help me with our breastfed baby.
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While in the womb your baby is completely surrounded by the warmth and comfort that your pregnant body provides naturally. Then once your baby is born they are literally pushed or pulled into a strange world where it is cold and quite different from what they had been accustomed to for the last 9 months.
Skin to skin is often encouraged to new mothers directly after their baby is first born to help with regulating your newborn’s body temperature, establishing breastfeeding, and even providing comfort and a bonding experience. However, many new dads are not aware that they can also provide soothing skin to skin contact with their newborn babies.
Just like mom’s warm body dad’s body can help create a bond with their new baby and also relieve any discomfort of entering their new environment.
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2. Bottlefeeding Pumped Breastmilk
It is encouraged to wait at least 6 weeks before introducing a bottle to your newborn baby to ensure that breastfeeding has been established. This is just to make sure that your baby knows that his/her meals should mostly come from mommy’s breast.
After your baby knows where the milk comes from you can begin offering your baby a bottle of pumped breastmilk.
My husband was so happy to have a chance to feed our son on occasion and have that special bond with him. And personally, I found that my son would not take a bottle from me. It was as if he thought that I was holding out on him and he wanted the boob since it was there. LOL
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Although burping may not seem like a super fun part of taking care of a newborn, my husband loved burping our babies and he did it better. I am not really sure what it was but I was great at nursing (obviously, haha) and he was the master at burping.
We even had a system when we first came home of me breastfeeding and then I handed our baby off to my husband to be burped.
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Who does not love bathtime? Okay I know there are some babies who do not love it but that was definitely not the case for my babies. They loved taking baths and even sometimes showers with daddy.
To be honest I loved that he was able to have this special time with them because I was able to get other things done such as layout their pajamas or tend to our other child.
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Let me start by saying that babywearing is the best ever.
I loved babywearing when my kids were little and it was a huge lifesaver, but I was actually surprised that my husband loved babywearing just as much as I did.
Honestly, I thought that he would be embarrassed or feel silly for wearing our baby in the carrier in public. Instead, he would actually ask me to put the carrier on him and he would gladly wear our baby the entire time we were out.
It was also a big help for me and gave me a little break.
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6. Diaper Changes and Dressing Baby
It’s a fact that if you have a baby you have to deal with diaper changes. My husband and I were really good at taking turns changing diapers, but he loved dressing our babies. In fact, he was great about taking initiative and getting their clothes out or dressing them after bathtime.
This also made for a few hilarious moments when I found our baby’s sleepers buttoned completely missing a button or shirts on backward. Although it’s the thought that counts right?
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7. Attend Doctor’s Appointments (if possible)
Of course, this is not possible for all dads to make happen but if at all possible try to invite your husband to any pediatrician appointments that he can make it to. He will love being involved and also learning about any new baby milestones to look out for.
And if your husband simply cannot make it to any of your baby’s appointments always keep him updated about how the appointment went and how much your baby weighs. Trust me it’s the little things that mean the most.
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8. Read to Baby
My husband has always been really goofy when reading bedtime stories to our kids and it is once again a special time for him to flex his daddy muscles and bond with your baby.
Encourage him to start early by reading a story to your newborn just before bed. Even a short story goes a long way.
9. Help with Naptime and Bedtime
If your husband wants a little alone time to bond with your baby, one really great way is to get him to help with the naptime and bedtime routine. He can rock your baby to sleep and lay them down to sleep.
This is a quiet and very calm time for lots of cuddling and maybe even singing a lullaby.
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10. Get Plenty of Cuddles
Babies love cuddling with mommy and daddy so why not take advantage of all the hugs and kisses you can get. They are only this little for a short time and one day they may not want to cuddle as much.
In our house, I am always the one on the move, trying to clean or tidy up one thing or ano9ther so my babies loved cuddling with daddy in the recliner with a big comfy blanket. He also loved taking that time to get extra hugs and kisses in.
11. Bond During Playtime
There is always time to play with your newborn baby. Anytime that I needed to put our baby down or set them up to have some playtime, my husband took advantage and used that time to play a little with our kids.
He is so silly and always made our babies laugh constantly.
12. Be Supportive and Encourage Mom’s Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is hard and making the decision to breastfeed your baby can take a lot of courage and be tiring at times, so having a supportive partner really makes it much easier.
My husband was always so supportive of me breastfeeding our son and even helped by getting me anything I needed while I was busy breastfeeding our baby.
Even just saying something like, “You’re doing a great job,” can really help an overtired breastfeeding mama.
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