Allowing daddy to find his way and bond with baby.

“Nothing I’ve ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.”
~ Bill Cosby

As a new mother there is an undeniable intuitive knowing and connection between a mother and her child . After the birth of your baby they are totally dependent on you and comforted just by your energy , scent , heartbeat and voice . All of them being the most consistent and stable things they have known for the past 9 months of their develpoment . We produce breast milk ,natures best food for our babies to thrive on , breastfeeding also deepens the connection and bonding experience between mother and child. They are helpless on their own without you . This special bond between a mother and her new baby can sometimes leave their partner feeling a bit alienated and intimidated . As important as the mother / baby connection is, so is the father/baby bonding time . The beginning is when the foundation is set , its important that they feel like they are a part of it . The earlier  on and more involved  the father is , the deeper and more lasting the connection between the two of them will be.

I often hear many woman fearfully complain that their husband / partner isn’t bonding or connecting with their new baby . I have spoken with a lot of men about this , ones that were actively involved from the start and ones that weren’t , here are some of the things they said and what they wished would have been :

1. The baby can’t do anything , there is nothing my baby needs from me ,  I will be more involved when they are older and more interactive like when I can do things with them . 

Tip for the ladiesGive them a job  as there is always something to do . Involve your partner right from the start , don’t alienate them . EX- ( in the morning / night let them feed them or have them take the baby for a bit after you feed so you can sleep ) , make them feel needed , thank them for helping you . 

2. I try and help but she won’t let me do anything .So I just gave up trying and let her do everything.

Tip for the ladiesBIG mistake !! All this will do is shut your partner down and stop them from trying  or wanting to be involved. Again find little jobs for them to do . Men love to be needed and if your partner is wanting to be involved ,then by all means let them . This will only deepen their bond and connection. Another thing I always tell my clients to do is to find reasons to leave them alone with the baby even if its at first to take a shower before feeling comfortable enough to run out to market , lunch with friends , gym , do some errands or whatever you need to do . The first time you leave your baby alone with your husband and leave the house you might panic ; make sure to breathe  and  call a friend  and have a freak out if you need to  but assure him that he can do this ! This will let him know and feel that he is trusted by you , for If he is scared ,If you believe and trust in him he will believe and trust in himself . 

3. Every time I try and help she tells me I am doing it wrong , I give up ! It makes me not want to try anymore .

-Tip for the ladies- Often in relationships we are really good at pointing out what the other is doing wrong instead of focusing on what they are doing right. Same thing with parenting . Just like you are trying to find your way with your baby , you must allow your partner to find their own way too. They might do things that make you want to cringe  and scream out , “OMG !! DON”T do it that way”. Take a deep breath and wait to see if they figure it out on their own. If they are having a hard time  , don’t grab the baby away from them, instead try giving them some positive reinforcement . Ex- ( if they are trying to burp the baby , bouncing them up and down frantically and smacking their back a little harder then you would ever do , breathe , take a beat, gather yourself before exploding and try something like this-”  Good job sweetie on getting him to drink that whole bottle ! He never drinks that much at once !! Do you think  he is having a hard time burping ? Then  if it feels right say something  like ; something that that I have found that works ,if you want to try is too …… Trust me on this , throw them a compliment and some positive reinforcement and you will have their full attention when It comes to being open to any kind of suggestion . 

“Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development.”
~ David Gottesman



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Rooted For Life

May 2012
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