Taking care of babies has never been easy. Babies depend on us for their every need from the moment they are born, and even as they grow, they only gradually begin to be able to take care of themselves. Some might even argue that our children never truly outgrow the need to be taken care of. While we won’t go that far, it is true that taking care of a baby is a full time job, a job that is best accomplished by two people working together.
It has always been important for mom and dad to share the responsibilities involved in taking care of babies and raising children. This has never been more true than today, in an era where most women work outside of the home in addition to filling most of the traditional caretaker roles in the home. More than ever before, men need to step up to the plate and do their share of the baby care.
Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be a grievous or daunting responsibility. As a matter of fact, most dads enjoy doing their share with the baby. Taking care of baby when she is having trouble sleeping, rocking the baby, changing the baby, playing with the baby…all of these are things which can help fuse the bond between a father and his children from the youngest ages. If baby is bottle fed, dad can even feed the baby. Even if your baby is breast fed, it’s a great idea to have dad stay close by so your baby will associate him with the feeding process as well. Another benefit to this is that it shows support for moms, many of whom have difficulty breast feeding and need the support.
Perhaps more than any other time, night time is the time to work together on baby care. While moms might need to be involved in every feeding if baby is breast fed, dads can still cover many of the other night time responsibilities. Many moms feel that, even if they have to feed the baby, it shows support and is helpful if dad will go get the baby, and take care of any changing or other issues first. Then, after the feeding, dad can help burp the baby and soothe her back to sleep while mom rests. All of these things can help both parents feel closer to the baby and each other.