Newborn bonding for dads

Newborn bonding is important for the whole family. Here's how dads can get in on the act...

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  • Time to share

    You're the one who's put up with nine months of stretchy waistbands and swollen ankles before coping with all the fun of the birth - now your baby's here, do you really have to share him?

    "It's important for your baby to have a lot of bonds," says clinical pyschologist Dr Abigael San from the British Psychological Society. Now is the ideal time for some daddy bonding...

  • Snuggle close

    While your partner is on paternity leave, get him used to carrying your newborn around in a sling or baby carrier, especially if you've had a caesarean.

    "You see lots of dads carrying their babies around, which really helps you if you're tired and is a special time for dad," says Dr Rebecca Chico, The Essential Parent Company.

  • Routine finder

    It's a good idea to get your partner involved in your newborn's routines right from the start; he can continue with bathtime, for example, when he returns to work.

    "Things like bathtime and nappy changes shouldn't be seen as just functional. These are intimate bonding times because there's face-to-face contact and your baby has the chance to get to know dad, smell him and communicate with him," says Rebecca.

  • Playmate

    Your baby can enjoy tummy time from a few weeks old, and this can be another great opportunity for daddy to get involved.

    "Dads tend to enjoy play, rather than doing the nurturing, so your partney may want to get down on the floor with your baby," says Abigael.