There's one really great way to level up and become an extraordinary first time dad, and it's simple: focus on bonding with your baby. But, how do you do that exactly? Well, in this post we break it down for you, and share the perfect tool to help you do it.
In our practice as lactation consultants we have the honor of supporting families with our prenatal class and have been given insights from the perspective of countless dads, and partners about their views of becoming a new parent. What we see commonly: the partner feels left out of the whole pregnancy experience, and can feel disconnected from the process.
And that makes sense I suppose. I mean, all the appointments and classes are about mom and baby. Not about dad. So it would seem their role is secondary to their partner and baby. That is not how we feel. We feel very strongly that partners need to be fully included in the prenatal experience, and have a crucial role in the breastfeeding relationship as well. Being an extraordinary first time dad/partner comes down to one very simple thing- Bonding.
But how do you bond with your breastfed baby? Do you give your baby a bottle and give your partner a break from breastfeeding? (Well... if you've read our top tips you know we don't recommend this.) Do you play with baby? Read to baby? Massage baby? Often partners are discouraged from bonding with their babies because newborns are very mom obsessed, and usually are happiest at the breast. Nobody wants to hold a screaming baby.
But, bonding with your baby can be easy if you have a few skills, and there's one crucial bonding method that is tried and true, and will set you up for success!
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If you have an opportunity to bond with your baby you'll set yourself, your baby, and your partner up for success. You'll learn your baby's cues, and have a deeper understanding of your infants needs. They'll learn who you are, and be comforted by you as their caretaker. They'll trust that you're a safe and comfortable place for them, the same way that mom's breast is as well. And that's the goal, right?
Our favorite way for dads to bond with baby is to wear your new baby in a carrier. And we (of course!) have a favorite carrier we recommend to all new dads.... my husband has one, and I've also been known to sneak off with it every now and again. The brand is called Mission Critical. Their carriers are everything you want in a carrier, and more. They look really freaking cool, are extremely comfortable, and functional for long term wear and perfect holding gear with their coordinating back packs that connect to the carrier. (By the way... I am NOT being compensated to write this. I really just love these carriers.)
I had the opportunity to connect with Andrew Wollenberg, who is the founder of Mission Critical, and as luck would have it, he JUST had his first baby. And he very graciously agreed to join me on an episode of the Successful Breastfeeding Podcast.
In the episode Andrew shared with me a bit about his recent journey into fatherhood, and also have some of the best advice I have ever heard for new dads. (Seriously, it was gold!) Andrew has been supporting dads through Mission Critical and now that he has personal experience as a breastfeeding supportive, baby wearing dad, I consider him the perfect expert to discuss the topic of becoming an extraordinary dad.
Take a listen to the episode now to hear Andrew's wisdom about turning diaper changes into a bonding opportunity, how and why you want to use a baby carrier to facilitate bonding, and his best tips for new dads who want to be extraordinary. You'll also hear his story about wearing his daughter for the first time (which is also pictured above!) and his favorite ways he's bonded with her since she's been born.
It's safe to say that Andrew is an extraordinary dad, and his Mission Critical Baby Carriers are extraordinary too.
Press play below, and listen now!
Andrew Wollenberg is an extraordinary dad, and entrepreneur. He is the owner of Mission Critical. Their mission is make exceptional gear for extraordinary dads, and to be part of that journey into fatherhood. Andrew and Mission critical believe that early bonding between a dad and baby is essential.
As mentioned in the podcast you can (and should!) check out these awesome carriers here:
And you can follow Mission Critical at these social links:
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