Research has shown that fathers tend to get more involved in the care of their baby when they are encouraged by the mother to do so. All they need is a little push and they’ll be doing the day-to-day chores – like feeding, cleaning, sterilizing - which are synonymous with a mother. If you want to know how to involve dad in babycare a bit more, then this piece will give you all you need.
You must trust the Dad’s competence when it comes to babycare. He might not be as proficient as you at it initially, but this can only be gained through practice. Women are said to have a “maternal instinct”, but men don’t necessarily have this, so they may feel cumbersome or uneasy with the baby initially. They may feel surplus to requirements when you are breast-feeding, but there are plenty of other things the father can practice, i.e. diaper changing, preparing bottles, washing clothes.
The baby’s birth
Try to organize the father to be present for the birth. This might not be logistically possible, but it would really help the father to feel like a parent, to feel like he is involved. If he has attended the pre-natal classes with you, then he should be prepared for what to expect during labour and the actual birth. Encourage him to hold the baby soon after the birth, as these hours and days immediately are crucial in the father-child bonding process. He will feel more like getting himself involved in babycare after an experience like this.
Try to leave the father alone with the baby for periods every day. It will also give you some time to yourself. Go do whatever it is you do in your spare time (if you can remember having some) i.e. go for a jog, read a book, listen to music; just unwind, and leave the care of the baby to the father. He will soon grow to love this special time and the bond between them will grow.
It’s important to stay encouraging and supporting his efforts to care for his baby and remember that s/he is a product of your love for either other. This is how to involve dad in babycare.
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