Our baby psychologist explains how gender can matter in parenting
Without a doubt, both parents have a huge contribution to make to a baby’s life. But there are differences in how mums and dads relate to their growing child.
Dads can make a special contribution to a baby’s life in a way that mums usually don’t. Psychologists researching the differences between parents when dealing with their baby have made the following observations and discoveries:
Don’t forget that relationships are two-way: your baby is needed by her dad as much as she needs him. It’s lovely for a father to know that he matters so much and has such an important contribution to make to his child’s life. In addition, having a child of this age will keep his feet firmly on the ground – as far as his child is concerned, he’s ‘just dad’. And everyone loves to get a warm welcome from a young child when coming back from work at the end of a hard day!
Swap babycare tasks with your partner. Encourage him to do something you normally do, such as baby massage, then step back and let him do it his way. Resist the urge to interfere, even if you’re convinced you could do it better yourself. It will give both him and your baby a chance to bond in a different way.
Reading to your baby, from as early as 2 or 3 months old, is likely to significantly boost her speech development, even though she may not understand you. Studies have found that young children whose parents read to them for 10-15 minutes each day usually have more advanced language development.
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