12 Ways for Dad to Bond with Baby

Bonding with a newborn can be overwhelming, especially for dad. We've gathered a few fun ways for him to spend a little extra time with his little one.

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Cradle Baby Close

When mom is breastfeeding baby she cuddles him close to her chest and baby has a perfect view into her eyes. When you are bottlefeeding him make sure to hold him in the same position, allowing your little one to gaze up at you.

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Take the Night Shift

If you aren't home during the day to help soothe baby's troubles, become the "rescuer of the night" when baby cries. This will give you and baby precious alone time and give mom the chance to catch some extra zzz's. Be sure mom has left a few bottles in the fridge for late-night feedings.

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Soothe Her Tears

Even though it may be tempting to hand a crying baby back to Mom, take a try at soothing her tears (unless she's hungry, of course). Try singing to her, walking her around, gently rocking, or find the closest pacifier for her to suck on. She must learn that Mom isn't the only one who can give her what she needs.

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Make Silly Faces

You can definitely be the funny guy. Start by just making silly faces that will make your baby glow with a smile. As your baby gets older try fun games like peekaboo.

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Take Him for a Walk

Babies love fresh air, so take your little bundle for a stroll around the block. Try using a sling or carrier instead of your stroller. This will keep baby close to you throughout the walk. Just be sure baby is slathered in sunscreen if it's hot outside and bundled up if it's a little chilly.

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Try a Baby Massage

Babies respond to touch, and a simple way to soothe and relax them is with a baby massage. When your baby is quiet and happy (you won't want to try it on a fussy baby) take 10 to 15 minutes to gently rub her legs, belly, arms, and neck.

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Special Play Time

Set aside time every night to play with your little guy. Make it part of his daily routine, so when you come home from work he expects his daddy time.

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Daddy Dance Party

Babies love music and they love to dance. Even when your baby is just a few months old you can start having dance parties. Turn on some music (or sing a special song) then sway around the room with baby. As your baby gets older you can help her stand and dance (a.k.a. bounce) till she is able to groove to her own moves.

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Take On Diaper Duty

You may want this to be a mommy-only task, but diaper duty is also a time to bond. Even though it may be a little smelly, you get to talk to her and make silly noises as she gets a fresh change.

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Cleaning Time

Keep baby close by strapping on the carrier and toting him around while you help with household chores like vacuuming. Plus its two things mom loves: baby bonding with his daddy and help cleaning house.

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Take a Sick Day

When your baby gets ill it's important for you to nurture him too -- so take a day off to stay home with baby. Try to go to healthy doctor checkups too, so you can hear from the doctor how he's developing and growing.

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Be a Part of the Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime schedule is very important to helping your baby sleep through the night. Choose a part of the routine you want to be involved in like bathtime. This will help baby understand that when Dad says its bathtime, it's will be bedtime soon too.

Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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