When Do You Really Become a Dad?
Bonding with baby is so important, and something that as a mom you will be ever focused on! But, have you thought about your husband bonding with baby? Craig, one of our amazing Cubby Dads, is very focused on bonding with his children - even from those first few moments. We asked him if he would be willing to share why this is so important and his take on fatherhood! It's so great to see it from our partners' perspective since we sometimes get caught up in our own. Enjoy! Bonding with a newborn baby is much different for a dad than it is for a mom. You see, a mom becomes a mom the first time she wakes up and doesn’t feel like herself. The morning sickness, food aversions or cravings, uncommon fatigue are all signs that she is going to be a mother and so her motherhood begins. However for a dad, he has to wait. There aren’t any physiological changes that happen to him. For me, the first time it really hit me that I was going to be a dad wasn’t when my wife showed me her positive pregnancy test. Instead, it was when I heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, when my own heart skipped a beat. But that was it. Sure I had food cravings, but I don’t think that’s the same. There are ultrasounds, feeling the baby kick, setting up a crib, buying a car seat, baby showers, and all the other things that go along with preparing for a baby. The mom has spent nine months carrying the baby, watching her body change, and spending countless nights sleeping on her side with a pillow between her legs. Then the contractions start, the frantic packing, and trip to the hospital for the day when a dad, really becomes a dad. When a baby is born, there are so many emotions, thoughts, aspirations, and even doubts. While mom is resting and recovering, a new dad should take any opportunity to help care for the baby. The first diaper change, the first bath in the nursery, holding the baby’s hand while they get blood drawn, or have their handprints and footprints taken, are all opportunities to bond with your baby. I was even lucky enough to pick out our daughter’s hair bow. Those first few hours are perfect for holding your baby in your arms, staring into their eyes, and reflecting on the miracle that is your child. When it’s time to take the baby home, continue to care for him or her. Babies are like little sponges and even though they spend much of their time eating and sleeping, take advantage of the times they are awake by introducing them to things you enjoy such as listening to music, watching sports, reading books, and making silly faces. These activities will help stimulate their growth and help you see their innate personality, talents, and skills. Yes, your bond with your child will be different than what they have with their mother and it isn’t always easy. However, any effort you make, will benefit your relationship with your wife and your child, helping you create a happy, close-knit family.