Ways for Dads to Overcome Their Fears and Get Comfortable With Baby

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ByDaddy Nickell
Updated
May 2017
dad with baby in baby carrier running errands
Photo: Thomas Lai Yin Tang

I know a lot of dads that feel nervous, anxious about holding, feeding and bonding with baby during those first few months together. I was one of those dads, too. I wanted to make sure I did everything right, but to be honest, it was terrifying. Spending that special time with one another, though, is so important and you’ll be so glad you did it. So before (and after!) baby makes his debut, here are a few ways you can get comfortable with your little guy:

1. Get talking! While the baby is still in the womb, start talking to him or her. Whenever you have the chance, talk to the baby because it is the sound of your voice, more so than what you are saying, that is important.

2. Fake it 'til you make it_… literally_. Before baby comes, practice holding an infant. Maybe it’s your niece or nephew or maybe you’re just holding a sack of blankets in your arms. Get comfortable with it! And when baby does finally arrive, hold him a lot. Any chance you have to hold the baby, take it. If mom is done breastfeeding, if the baby is waking up in the middle of the night, if you just came home from work, take your baby in your arms. It’s your time together.  The more time you spend wrapped up in each other, the more baby will learn your hold a and feel your confidence.

3. Ask to change baby’s diaper. Seriously, dads — ask! It may not be the most pleasant smelling experience, but it’s another opportunity to spend time with baby.

4. Pay attention and you’ll be surprised how quickly baby pays attention to you! Your child will watch you and learn from you from the day they are born to the end of their lives, so just imagine that you are the star of your own reality TV show, and everything you do is being broadcast in high definition to your new baby. Pretty cool, huh? Some of my favorite moments with my children came between the ages of 18 months and 3 years!

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5. Laugh together. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun this is. Finally, someone to laugh at every joke you make regardless of whether or not it’s actually funny! It’s one of the most magical parenting experiences to hear your baby laugh for the very first time.

The bottom line is: get engaged with your children and babies from day one. There’s plenty to do! Enjoy every phase, moment and experience. You’ll be so glad you did!

How did your partner bond with baby?

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