How can my partner bond with our baby?
Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Breastfeeding can be a wonderful bonding experience for both mom and baby--- but what about the other partner/parent?
Unfortunately, many partners can feel 'left out' because of the bond that comes through the act of breastfeeding...
"What are ways that my partner can bond with our baby?- Besides changing diapers!"
Skin to skin is one of the most important ways an infant can bond with either one of their caregivers. This allows the baby to not only feel body heat but also hear their caregiver's heart beating.
Skin to skin helps an infant regulate their own heart rate (in reference to that of their care-givers), and can also help them regulate their internal core temperature. Although skin to skin may seem like an incredibly simple act, this action can help to calm your infant and perhaps settle crying fits.
Through the use of 'skin to skin bonding' with your infant and partner, partners may be able to better read for hunger signals as well as develop a broadened awareness of your baby's needs.
Partners can also hold mom from behind or stand behind her when she is breastfeeding/skin to skin. This can help the baby see both parents while looking upwards. While breastfeeding or skin to skin, your baby is calm and happy ---associating both parental figures at this time can help create a more inclusive bonding experience within the family.
Another way your partner can become involved is through engaging the baby in playtime. Depending on the age of the infant, this could be in the form of simple facial expressions/peek-a-boo or with toys creating stories. This will help your baby develop both socially as well as cognitively (which is an imperative aspect of childhood development).
In whatever ways both parents are involved, each care-giver has an important role to play in the health, happiness, and development of their baby. Although parenting is a lot of work, it can also be the most rewarding experience of a lifetime.
Parents/care-givers are a TEAM. One would not be there without the other. Be proud of the little miracle you brought to this world together and celebrate each other's part in the process.
Thank you for reading and please sign up with Mamas Maternal Health today!
Until next time!
Mikayla and Cassie
Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors
Reference: The Lactation Counselor Training Course Notebook (2018)., Healthy Children Project, Center for Breastfeeding
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