One in five fathers in the UK admit they’ve never held a baby before being handed their own, and 30 per cent say they have no idea at all how to hold an infant.
The study, carried out by laundry brand Persil, shows that while while 62 per cent of new mothers say holding their baby is a natural instinct from day one, 19 per cent of new fathers take an average of a week to feel comfortable holding their newborn.
According to the research, many new dads began to bond with their new babies during the night feed, with 40 percent said they were not left alone with their new baby in the first week after their arrival.
As a result of the study, England rugby player and father of twin daughters Ben Cohen, 34, has created the Cuddle Mastery Guide to provide advice and information for new parents.
He said: ‘I want to encourage new parents to overcome their nervousness. As a father of two twin daughters, I know it can be intimidating when you first meet your little one.
‘But spending that quality time with them learning how to cuddle and reading up beforehand really helps to increase your confidence.’
According to the British Skin Foundation, babies who are given lots of cuddles and affection may find stress or anxiety easier to deal with as they grow up.