For Dads: How To Bond With Your Baby When Bottle Feeding
When people think about bonding with a baby, they tend to think only in terms of mother-child bonding. While it is important for a mom to develop a deep connection to their child – it’s equally important for you as a father to establish a close, healthy bond with your baby as well.
Numerous research studies suggest a strong correlation between early father-infant bonds and the overall happiness of the entire family. The specific findings of this research might be a little surprising.
- When fathers develop a strong relationship with their newborns right from the beginning, a child’s physical and mental development is significantly boosted, compared to children whose fathers had a more hands-off approach.
- Fathers experience less stress and feel more confident when they have their own special time with their baby.
- Reports show men who had a deeper bond with their fathers at an early age were better equipped to handle stress into adulthood.
- Children who form close connections with their fathers as infants are more successful academically, have better relationships with their peers and are less likely to be involved with criminal activities or abuse alcohol or drugs.It’s important these findings be communicated to all parents – especially dads who might believe involvement with their baby doesn’t matter all that much. But it does matter because forming a strong bond with your baby is linked to their healthy development both mentally and physically. So you
can see the many advantages of a strong father-infant bond. Bottle feeding is one way you can bond with your baby.
Below are tips on how you as a dad can bond with your baby when bottle feeding:
Tip #1: Keep your baby close
When feeding your baby, hold them close to you. You want to hold them close enough so they can feel the warmth of your body and smell your natural scent. Yes, your smell is one of the primary ways your baby recognizes you.
Whenever possible, remove your shirt or at least unbutton it so your baby can have skin-to-skin contact. This contact boosts levels of oxytocin, the “love” hormone which plays a big role in parent-child bonding.
Tip #2: Talk to your baby
There will be times when you need or want to be quite while feeding your baby and that’s perfectly fine. But when possible talk, sing or make cooing sounds to your little one. You’re more likely to smile when you talk and your baby very well might smile back.
Talking or singing when feeding makes it more special for both you and your baby. And as with your smell, your voice also is another way your baby recognizes you.
Tip #3: Focus all your attention on your baby
Find a quiet place when possible to feed your child. Loud noises can be distracting for your baby and for you. Your focus should be on your child which helps the bonding process.
It’s easy to try and multi-task when feeding your baby like watching your favorite TV show or talking on your mobile phone. But these activities take your focus away from your child and limits your ability to bond with them. Try to place your full attention on your baby when feeding.
Tip #4: Switch sides when feeding
Breastfed babies automatically get a different view as they are moved from one breast to the other, but there’s no reason a bottle fed baby can’t have the same advantage.
Switch sides halfway through your little one’s feeding. Not only will this give your shoulder a much needed break to help reduce aches and pains, but your baby gets to have a different perspective.
Tip #5 Feed on demand
It’s been proven that babies form a bond faster to parents who respond to their needs more quickly. And a babies needs are pretty simple to fulfill – feed me, change me, soothe me… All they really want is to have their needs met quickly. When you appear with their bottle soon after they start crying, they learn to trust that you will meet their needs on demand.
However, feeding on demand is not something you have to do forever. But in those early weeks with your newborn, being responsive to their needs is a big part of forming a close bond with your baby.
Although there are many ways for a father to bond with their baby, bottle feeding is one of the best. The entire feeding process takes time especially with newborns. And taking that time to interact with your child is key to forming a lasting bond.
Mixing and warming are a necessary part of bottle feeding. But it shouldn’t be something that holds you back from choosing this feeding method because we’ve made it super easy for you with our MagiSitr 3-In-1 Mixer and Warmer. Click below to learn more about how it can simplify the bottle feeding process.