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Breastfeeding a baby is such a special bond. Feeding a baby in general creates an important bond of trust and love, that I feel so blessed to have experienced now with three little ones. I am still breastfeeding my 10-month old baby, and I think it’s important not to leave Daddy out on all this special bonding time. For first-time parents, it can be difficult to allow daddy an opportunity to bond with the baby. I never had my husband do the middle-of-the-night feedings because he had to work. I just reasoned that only one of us should be in a zombie-like state, and we don’t need him functioning half awake while working, so these ideas are all great ways to have daddy bond with the baby, without having him wake up in the middle of the night!
Here are some ways my boys have been able to bond with their daddy, despite being breastfed.
The Right Bottle For Daddy To Use: If you are breastfeeding, your baby may not want to take a bottle. It is a great idea to practice having your breastfeeding baby take a bottle a couple times a day or so, so they are prepared to take a bottle if necessary, and so daddy will have a way to feed them. The right bottle is so important to make this work. Babies don’t like just any bottle, they want a bottle that is as close to mama as possible. A bottle that mimics breastfeeding will help daddy successfully feed. The NUK Simply Natural Bottles are a great option, and the ones I use, because they are designed to be just like mom’s breast. This helps the baby not even realize there is a difference, and allow Daddy to experience the closeness and bonding of feeding. These are the bottles my breastfed babies prefer, and there’s some research behind why. The bottles feature multiple nipple holes to provide a natural feed, just like mom’s breast. They have an advanced 1-piece, Anti-Colic Air system that helps reduce colic, gas and spit up (yes!), the silicone shape is super soft and the same shape as mom’s nipple, and a flexible nipple for better latching. You can follow and interact with NUK social channels for potential offers and giveaways, especially for Simply Natural September! Find them on Facebook and Instagram.
This is the most important tip to help daddy bond with baby because it so closely resembles mom. Whether mom is taking a couple hours to run errands, off to work or in need of some extra sleep, offering daddy an opportunity to bond with baby while feeding is the first step to ensuring the two build important connections. Make sure to check out the NUK Simply Natural Bottles if you are in need of some great bottles for Daddy to use. I grabbed mine at Walmart in the baby bottle aisle.
Smell Like Mom: Newborns are super sensitive to smell, and very intune to the smell of mom. You can help daddy bond by having a blanket or shirt nearby that smells like mom. A blanket that mom keeps on her skin will help grab her smell, which then daddy can put over his shoulder to encourage the baby to connect him with safety, comfort and food.
Bath Time Bonding: Babies are learning and connecting through touch and facial expressions. By having daddy in charge of bath time, they can bond over touch and facetime. This gives the baby an opportunity to trust daddy, connect with him through touch, and learn his facial expressions. Its such a simple, soothing way for them to spend time together! It also allows mom to have her hands free for a minute to make dinner, clean up or just sit down.
Wear the Baby: Men can wear baby too! I’ve put the baby carrier on my husband numerous times, and he loves to help in this way because the baby is usually super easy to handle, quiet, and they love the motion. Baby wearing allows the baby to learn daddy’s smell, while being soothed by the motion of walking. Whenever I had to run to the store while the baby was very little, I would put him on my husband. That way, he was super cozy in his favorite spot.
Give Them Time Alone: I notice that as soon as the baby knows I’m around, they want me. But, if I leave the two to themselves, the baby immediately turns attention towards daddy and accepts his care. They don’t fuss as soon as they know I’m not there, but the minute I come back into the room, or even the house, there’s a need for my attention, and my attention only. This is where a great bottle comes in handy again because the two can really bond together by being left alone for a few hours, and the baby feeding with daddy.
I hope these ideas help, as you handle life with a new baby in the family. First baby or not, daddy needs some time to bond with baby, and these tips will really help him do that on a daily basis to build a bond that is so important for baby. It’s also important for mom, so she knows that her baby loves being cared for by their dad, giving her peace of mind and permission to accept some self-care time.
Make sure to look into the NUK Simply Natural bottles for the most natural, mommy-like feeding experience.