Monday, September 29, 2014

Baby-Daddy Bonding

It can be tricky for new dads to bond with their new babies.  

I've always been Olive's primary caretaker so we get LOTS of one on one time to bond.  My husband works full time and I'm always trying to think of fun things that they can do together with just the two of them.  I have noticed that Olive reaches for me, wants me to snuggle her and is definitely a mommy's girl.  I could tell that it kind of hurts my hubby's feelings at times when he really just wants to snuggle and love on her.  
Here are some ideas we are trying at our house to help encourage
Baby-Daddy Bonding!

1. Stroller rides together - my husband makes car noises, drives faster and sillier than I ever do.  Olive thinks it's hilarious and enjoys the wild ride.

2. Dress your baby in your hubby's favorite team apparel - this may sound silly but my husband LOVES seeing our daughter in Notre Dame gear.  She even has a cheerleader outfit to wear this season as well as some fun ND picture books they can read together.

3. Ask your hubby to take a turn feeding your baby - a bottle, baby food or a meal.  It was fun to teach my husband how to start feeding her solids and now they snack together.

4. Read books together - board books are nice because they aren't too long and involved for young kiddos, encourage them to read in silly voices or act out parts of the book.  If your man is totally uncomfortable with this, offer to model how you read with your child and show them how you do it.  Dad's definitely do things differently, but I think it's nice for them to see it in action if they are leery about a new activity. 

5. Sing silly songs together or listen to music - we make up goofy songs, change the words to regular songs and have a silly nursery rhyme cd in the car.  Olive thinks it's funny when her dad knows some of her favorite songs.  She also likes to dance to country music.

6. Bath time/water play - ask your hubby to give the baby a bath, let the baby splash around and if they are older incorporate toys, peek a boo, counting toes and any talking is great!  Babies loved to be talked to so encourage your hubby to tell the baby all about their day.  It might seem silly at first but it's so important to talk to your little one.

7. Toys - I try to give Kevin & Olive time to play together without me.  Let them go through her toys and make up fun games together.

8. Be alone.  Give your husband opportunities to be alone with your child.  It's hard to feel like a pro when someone is always watching you so leave!!  Haha... start with short errands, runs to the grocery store and work up to lunch dates and outings with friends.  It's amazing how they will bond when you leave them together.

9. Send pictures/videos to him at work.  I know some days he feels like he's missing out on a lot at home when he's at work so I make a point to send him a picture or two throughout the day.  I write him a message as though it's from Olive and he gets to feel like he's a part of her day.  I've noticed that if I get busy and forget to send him a picture, he'll text and ask what his girls are up to and request a picture.

10.  Be encouraging.  Compliment your hubby when he finds a fun game to play with your child, praise him when you notice they are having a great time together and watch their relationship grow!  My hubby installed a tree swing in our backyard for our daughter.  She loves it and I often remind him of how much fun she has on the swing he got her.

Kevin is definitely the "fun parent" so Olive greatly benefits from all of their fun, rough and tumble activities.  I enjoy watching them play because Kevin come up with the silliest, funniest games.  I rarely hear Olive laugh as hard with me as she does with her Dad.  I am really thankful for the differences in our personalities.

I'll confess that it can be hard to let Kevin do things his way with Olive because I have my own way I like to do things.  I found that if I go and fix the things he's done with her he gets discouraged and doesn't want to do it again.  So I try to be flexible and let Olive wear funky outfits if Kevin picked it out, go with the flow of things if they're having fun together and encourage their interactions.

Do you have any other baby-daddy bonding ideas for me??
I'm always looking for new ones :)

Linking up with Leslyn for Mama Mondays.


  1. Stopping by from the link-up. I love your ideas. We try similar things. I love seeing our littles with their daddies.

  2. I love this list! We both work full time, so I always try to make sure that each of us get special time with little E. We'll definitely try to do some things on this list. :)

  3. I've included Mike on all the activities since Clay was born and it just kind of happened that he ended up as the bath/bedtime parent which I think helps them bond. As much as I love those bedtime snuggles I know Mike loves them just as much! I think the biggest thing is leaving them alone together! No one likes to be watched and feeling like their being "judged" when they're doing something new!

  4. This is a great list! My hubby has had a tough time connecting with our little girl because she is such a mamas girl. One other thing that really works for them is going for a small errand on a weekend. Even to get dinner and bring it home. Being alone, out of the house really seems to give my husband an accomplished feeling!

  5. It is so important for them to have bonding. I agree - just giving them alone time together is great. I love to be at least in ear shot, though, because their crazy banter is so sweet.

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

  6. what a great idea for a blog post... too often dads are more uncomfortable with the baby stuff but it's so important for them to play a huge role in our kiddos lives--- great ideas!


I LOVE hearing from you!! Thanks for taking the time to leave sweet comments; I enjoy reading every one of them.