I'm going to say it, I'm going to fucking say it, you can't stop me. The bonding between mother and baby is... easier. Now before anyone decides to sacrifice me in some ritual to appease the Gods in some fleeting hope that 2020 will stop being a shit show of a year, hear me out.
The mother and baby bonding is easier for the simple fact that the baby is growing inside her. For 40 weeks they're connected, she'll be the first to feel the flutters, the kicks, the turning and then once out, breastfeeding etc. And in my case the first to see the scans. Now this doesn't always mean that there is a bond, or that it's super strong. It just means that my wife has a head start on me in the bonding game.
What does that mean for us Dads?
It means time to pull your finger out and put in some effort. As my wife nears the 16-week mark I've been reading up on bonding with your baby, the reasons why and some tips.
I'll keep this simple gentlemen, the reasons for doing it, is for your baby's development, your baby's wellbeing, your relationship and your own confidence & wellbeing.
If you go about creating a positive and calm environment now, it will help reduce the stress levels for your wife and in turn help your baby's development. Getting to know your baby as early as possible will help ensure the healthiest outcome.
From a relationship standpoint, you showing and putting in the time, effort and attention will lead to a more harmonious pregnancy. Even if your wife has left another messy porridge pot by the sink... give me strength.
Finally lads, a good reason is for your own bloody confidence. It's all about building that confidence up so when the doctor hands you a baby in a couple of weeks/months time, you're not shaking like a shitting dog with the panic. Instead you're giving off a confidence that your baby will sense and feel more calm, secure, safe and at ease in your arms. Let's try and start off on the right foot instead of a screaming baby eh...
Tips On Bonding
Now I've already been talking to my wife's belly, well bump. On this point in particular, did you honestly ever see yourself talking to someone's stomach. It's up there with, (and I'll experience it soon I'm sure), sniffing your babies arse to see if they've left something so grim in their nappy that you actually think they're some demon child.
So back to talking to my wife's belly, as she throws me a look to say "Christ, I married this fella", as I grab a stethoscope to try and hear stuff. I remark that I think I can hear stuff, my wife remarks that I'm talking shit.
The baby's ears are developed now by the 16 week mark but they don't start hearing outside noises until 24 weeks so I've read. But here are 5 easy tips and things I'll be doing for bonding. I'm starting early to get into the habit.
I look at the scan pictures every couple of days. It helps to visualise your actual baby, as it can be hard to attach to things we can't physically see, touch, or hear. It's helped me to start thinking of the baby as a real tiny legend/person.
They say you should give your baby a name. We started with 'bump' but it's now 'Bub'. Now it can be an actual name or nickname, it doesn't really matter. It's again about making the baby more of a real person.
I greet and say goodbye to 'Bub' and my wife when I get home or leave. Nothing major now just a quick "Hey Bub". Now it's early for me, but the baby will be able to hear you at 24 weeks and I believe after the 20 week mark, a gentle tap on the bump can be felt by the baby.
So basically I'll be coming in, saying hi to the missus and giving Bub a tiny fist bump.
Spending time together as a family is another tip for bonding. Now for feck sake lads, this is an easy one with all the restrictions and lockdown measures. Just talk to your other half, sing, watch tv or play music, whatever. I'll be whipping out the ukulele and playing to Bub, which my wife is sooo excited for, when we hit the 24 week mark. Song suggestions are always welcome.
But Mums often say that their babies recognise songs or tv show theme tunes they hear a lot during pregnancy. What's mad then, is your baby will connect that song with a time she felt loved and content in the womb. So, once born singing this song or playing the music is meant to be a great calming method for the baby.
Has me thinking now about the fact we've been re-watching The Sopranos recently.
Get hands on after the 20-24 week mark lads as that's the time you're meant to start feeling the baby move or kick. I really can't wait for that, so I can physically connect and feel my baby. Who knows, I may even be able to tell if he/she is a left or right footed kicker. (Important information for us sports mad dads).
That's what I'm doing or will be doing to help and bond with my baby. The exciting bit about is that, the bigger the baby gets the more of a kick (pun intended) I'll get out of the bonding process.