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During this last pregnancy, I told my husband, Kirk, that he wasn’t going to get to hold Christian for six weeks. I was [kind of] joking of course–I just wanted to spend as much time with my son before I had to return to work. I have a corporate job outside the home while Kirk stays home to care for my father who’s on hospice. So when baby came along, he has Mr. Mom duty, too!
I’ll admit, I was really nervous about it. I still [kind of] am. After all, I’m quite Ruby/Sapphire and while this is my third baby, this is his first and he’s a Pearl through-and-through. I make a lot of lists for him to follow and it helps him tremendously. Thankfully, he doesn’t see it as me micromanaging–he really needs it! Now if he were also a Ruby, that’d be a completely different story.
Despite my not wanting to share, I did let Kirk hold him. Yeah, yeah, I know. I said he wasn’t going to…but I figured it was in my son’s best interest to at least let Kirk hold him before he was left alone with him for hours and hours while I work, right?
I need to honor my husband by allowing him to have an active role in rearing our children. Bonding is essential for both parents! That being said, here’s how dad can bond with baby:
- Babywear (I LOVE a Boba for newborns!)
- Take a bath with him
- Read to him
- Carry him on your forearm and point everything out to him
- Change diapers (even cloth diapers are super easy to change!)
- Baby massage (coconut oil is amazing for this!)
- Kangaroo care
- Tell him stories. Even if he doesn’t understand, he’ll understand your love
- Sing songs
- Support Mommy’s breastfeeding efforts. Newborns can nurse around-the-clock, which means a lot of couch time for mommy. While she’s nursing, you can pick up around the house and get her food and water. When baby finishes with one side, burp him for her before he goes to the other side. If there are other children, keep them occupied and content while mommy is nursing
- Be there. Take as much time off of work as possible when baby arrives! Understand your FMLA rights for taking paternity leave. No matter how much scrimping and saving you have to do to take time off of work–make it happen…because you won’t ever regret the time you got to spend with them
- And most importantly, love his mom. When a son sees a father respect and honor his mother, this sets him up for life. It teaches him how to love. Be the man you want your son to grow up to be. When a daughter sees a father love his mother, this teaches her what is acceptable for love from a man. Pray for your family, nurture your relationship with your wife, tell her how beautiful she is and how proud you are of her. She won’t tire of hearing it! And if she is tired, let her nap!
In what ways do you bond with your baby? I’d love to hear them below!