Strengthening the Daddy Bond

Feeling Useless

During pregnancy, women live with their baby 24-7, aware of every kick and hiccup. For many fathers-to-be, the blurry sonograms and the tiny kicks he can occasionally feel with his palms don't quite bring it home. Dads often feel removed from the baby during pregnancy. Even after baby arrives, bonding is not as automatic for dads as it is for moms.

Hurdle: The demands of nursing can make dads feel like a third wheel. This can establish a less than ideal pattern as the mother seems irreplaceable in every way. Since Mom is already holding the baby to breastfeed, she often ends up burping him and changing his diaper when the feeding is done.

Solution: When dads back off from taking care of their babies, it's harder for them to develop a connection. New parents can avoid this trap by changing the pattern early on. Breastfeeding isn't the only aspect of taking care of a new baby. Dads can pride themselves on developing great burping techniques, diaper-changing prowess, and baby-massage mastery. Simply holding the baby, even while watching a ball game on television, helps foster the daddy-baby bond.

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