12 Ways for Dad to Bond with Baby

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

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Cradle Baby Close

Father feeding baby

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, hold him in the same position, allowing your little one to gaze up at you.

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Take the Night Shift

Man holding baby

Give mom the chance to catch some extra zzz's and become the "rescuer of the night" when baby cries. This will give you and baby precious alone time. Pro tip: Be sure to have a few bottles in the fridge for late-night feedings.

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Soothe Her Tears

father holding crying baby

Take a try at soothing her tears. Try singing to her, walking her around, gently rocking, or find the closest pacifier for her to suck on. This way, she can learn that Mom isn't the only one who can give her what she needs.

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Make Silly Faces

father holding baby

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

father carrying baby
Fancy Photography/Veer

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

Daddy kisses baby's feet

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.

07 of 12

Special Play Time

Dad playing and showing objects to baby girl

Set aside time every day specifically for playtime with your little guy. Make it part of his daily routine, so he expects his daddy time on the regular.

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Daddy Dance Party

Dad holding daughter in air

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

father changing baby's diaper
Fancy Photography/Veer

Sure, there's a little ick-factor 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

boy playing with shirt
Fancy Photography/Veer

Keep baby close by strapping on the carrier and toting him around while you tackle household chores like vacuuming. Plus it's double duty: baby bonding with his daddy and cleaning up around the house.

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Take a Sick Day

father kissing baby's forehead

When your baby gets ill it's important for you to play a nuturing role -- your little one's sick days are yours too now. Make a point 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

father kissing sleeping baby
Juice Images/Veer

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.

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