This Father’s Day we’re shining a light on all the things dads can do to help prepare for and bond with their new baby.
As a new dad, your relationship with your baby is crucial to their learning and development.
Red Nose Chief Midwife Jane says baby is ready to communicate and bond with dad right from birth and that there’s so much you can both do together to enjoy and benefit from this time.
“It might not seem like it, but your baby knows who you are and recognises your voice from when he or she was in utero,” Jane explains.
At Red Nose we think one great way for dads and babies to spend time together right from day one is tummy time!
Umm…tummy time? What is what?
It sounds cutesy, but tummy time is an important activity that helps your baby develop strong, healthy muscles, which we know can help keep them safe in their cot.
Jane says tummy time allows baby to see your face and hear your voice, aiding their brain development as they discover more of the world around them.
“Your baby is primed for new sights, sounds and experiences, so take advantage of it! You can get down low with baby placed on a playmat on the ground or stretch your legs by going for a wander with baby held upright on your shoulder.”
Incorporate talking to your baby! You might feel silly at first, but babies love a running commentary on what you’re doing, seeing or thinking. Your baby is learning sounds they’ll one day soon repeat back to you, opening the door for some lovely chats as they grow.
Whilst babies love you making funny faces, poking your tongue out and playing peek-a-boo, throwing and catching baby in the air is a no-go, even if baby is squealing, giggling and having fun.
“A baby’s head is heavy in proportion to the body and isn’t well supported by their underdeveloped neck muscles,” explains Jane.
“Vigorous bouncing games where a baby’s head can whip back and forth can cause the brain to rebound against the skull, which can cause serious injuries,” Jane says, “so choose a safer game to play together.”
From everyone at Red Nose, we wish all new and expectant dads a very Happy Father’s Day!
For more tips for dads: