Sometimes, it can be tempting for moms to “do it all” when it comes to baby. This is especially true of breastfeeding mothers. While no one is disputing that breast feeding is best for baby, it’s also important to make sure that dad is doing what it takes to stay involved with you and the baby. Not only does this relieve mom of some of the work, but it also helps dad forge those all important bonds with their new baby.
There are lots of things that dads can, and should, do to help take care of the baby. When baby cries at night, dads should be the one getting up to get her at least half of the time. This will help your baby associate her father with comfort and care as well as her mother. Even if you breast feed, dad can go get the baby and bring her to you.
Another thing fathers can do to help breastfeeding mothers is simply stay awake with them while baby is being fed. Not only can they go get anything that is needed, but they can provide a little adult company and support. When baby is done feeding, dad can help burp baby and rock her back to sleep. Not only will this help fathers bond with baby, it might give you a little well needed rest.
Of course, if you bottle feed your baby, dad can help by giving baby feedings as well. In either case, once baby is old enough to start eating some solid foods, dad can help with the feedings then.
When baby is awake during the day, dads should make an effort to spend some time cuddling and playing with the baby. Again, this helps build the bond between father and child, and is much needed by both of them. The best thing for a baby is to have both parents actively involved in her care.
Remember, bringing a baby into the world takes two. Ideally, so does raising a baby. While this doesn’t detract at all from those who are raising a baby by themselves, it certainly is easier if two work together.