There’s really nothing quite like the feeling of bringing a newborn baby into the world. That’s what you’re told, that’s what you want, and that’s what you spend nine months imagining while your new best friend forms in the womb. And then comes the day you’ve been waiting for and, sometimes, that feeling you’ve been waiting for just doesn’t come along quite as quickly.
This is 100% normal.
After all, this newborn baby is 50% you but it has spent 100% of its time inside of its mother. It’s all an adjustment – for the baby, for you, for everyone involved. With time, work and the following tips for building a bond with your newborn, you’ll have a connection like the one you’ve been dreaming about. Or maybe even better.
Interact With the Baby Bump
Obviously, this one takes place before the baby ever sees the light of day but it’s never too early to start preparing. Touch the mother’s bump and feel the kicks. Talk to the baby. Sing to the baby. All of the hype around playing Mozart for the baby can’t completely useless, right? We’re not comparing you to Mozart here but there is a bit of a magic feeling in this intimate, yet elusive, means of communication.
Cradle Your Newborn
Watch how the mom holds the baby while breastfeeding. She cradles the baby close to her chest and is able to watch the baby’s eyes as he or she feeds. Try to emulate this as you bottle feed the baby, or even just as you hold it. This is comfortable and familiar to the baby and will help to grow that connection.
Take a Walk
Baby’s love movement. After all, they had a free ride for nine months, so they’re comfortable with the cadence of walking around. You can either hold your baby while walking or use a chest carrier, which may be more comfortable and easier for both of you. Going on walks is a great way to spend time with your baby, introduce him or her to new sights, and get some fresh air and exercise. This will definitely be good exercise for you, particularly as your baby grows from infant to toddler.
Take time to play with your baby. Maybe it’ll take some getting used to at first, just as it takes time to get used to interacting with any new person, but there’s a certain joy to be found in playing with your child. The good thing is, babies can’t really judge you or make fun of you so you can be as goofy and silly as you want. Your baby will probably appreciate you for it.
Raising a baby is new, exciting and a little bit terrifying. You may not have the initial connection of the mother and the newborn, being that you were out of the loop on the whole nine months of communicating nutrients and hormones through an umbilical cord ordeal. However, this baby is still 50% you. Being a father is an incredible gift but also a hell of an adjustment. Just be patient and commit time and eventually you’ll find that feeling of connection you’ve been waiting for.