Bonding with Baby

Dads & Bonding

father playing with baby

Shannon Greer

Moms aren't the only ones who need to bond with their babies, but dads may have to work a little harder at it. Child psychologist Lawrence Cohen, PhD, offers this advice.

  • Keep your schedule open. Don't pass on paternity leave if you're lucky enough to have the option. And if you don't, maybe you can adjust your schedule in the first few months in order to spend more time with your baby.
  • Wake up when he does. You'll get to hang out with him when he's alert. Getting involved in your baby's regular care -- not just being there for rough-and-tumble play -- will let him know he can depend on Dad too.
  • Comfort her when she cries. It may be tempting for you to give the wailing baby back to your wife, but you should fight that urge. Unless your infant needs to breastfeed, you can rock her, talk to her, and help her settle down.
  • Hold him close. When your wife breastfeeds, your baby's at the perfect height to gaze at her face. So that's how you should hold him too. You can bottle-feed him in that position or just hold him at chest level and look into his eyes.

Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the November 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

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