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beyond feeding: how dads and caregivers can bond with breastfed babies

Congratulations you just had a new babee!! Now what do you do?!

I get this question quite often of how does one bond or entertain a babee? It's you. And its that simple.

Welcoming a new babee into the family is an exciting and life-changing experience. For breastfeeding honeys, the bond formed during feeding times is undeniable. However, this can sometimes leave Dads and other caregivers feeling left out or unsure of how to connect with the babee. Most people assume feeding is the only way for abbee to love them but the good news is that there are many wonderful ways for dads and caregivers to bond with breastfed babees beyond feeding.

In the early days of feeding sleep deprivation can take over and new honeys just want it and Dad’s em pathetically what to give it by relieving the commitment of being the single sourc of food for the bare.

Aht, Aht!! But if you're breastfeeding this can have a negative impact on your milk supply because of the frequent feedings that occur and the feeding feeding cues that will be missed. Also, if Dad has not been properly educated on when and how to bottle feed you can run the risk of over feeding your babee more than what babee would take at the breast by not paced bottle feeding. This is a quick way to have a fussy babee and tank your supply unknowingly.

Honey, you are your babee's primary source of food and this will be your main job while growing a little human, especially in the early weeks to months of feeding. When honeys are bombarded with this request, it often leads to honeys pumping prematurely. Breastfeeding and pumping is a hard combination and can be overwhelming for a new honey if they don't know how or when to pump in the early days. Some honeys don't want to pump such as myself and choose to exclusively breastfeed. This is an important discussion to have during your postpartum planning so that your goals are not derailed by a Dad feeling left out of the bonding and parenting journey.

Some of my honeys may even tell Dad find something else to do!! I got this, lol!! If you are a team player and your partner's biggest cheerleader your support means the world and your patience is even more invaluable too. Bottle feeding isn’t the only way to make sure their partner is “doing something” too. Playing tit for tat will have you in whirlwind of anxiety which isn’t good for you or your babee or frankly Dads and partners for that matter.

But I got you, honey. Below is a list of meaningful ways you can bond with a breastfed babee and infant massage is one of them. Read for more!!

#1 Infant Massage

Infant massage is a wonderful way to connect with the babee and help them relax. It can also be beneficial for relieving gas, colic, and promoting better sleep.

How to Do It:

• Use a small amount of babee -safe food grade massage oil or lotion.

• Start with gentle strokes on the babee’s legs, arms, and back.

• Use slow, soothing motions and maintain eye contact with the babee.

• Make this a part of the daily routine, such as after bath time or before bedtime.

#2 Skin-to-Skin Contact

One of the simplest yet most powerful ways for dads and caregivers to bond with a babee is through skin-to-skin contact. Holding the babe close against their naked chest helps to calm and soothe the babee while promoting physical closeness and emotional bonding. Skin to Skin contact also helps to rewire Dad's and lower aggression.

How to Do It:

• Wear a loose shirt or go shirtless and hold the babee against your chest.

• Cover both of you with a soft blanket to keep warm.

• Spend 15-20 minutes in this position, allowing the babee to hear your heartbeat and feel your warmth.

#3 Babywearing

Babywearing is an excellent way for dads and caregivers to bond with the babee while keeping their hands free for other activities. It provides the babee with a sense of security and closeness. And they get to tag along with your throughout your day.

How to Do It:

• Choose a comfortable and safe babee carrier that supports the baby’s neck and spine.

• Wear the baby facing inward during the first few months to promote bonding and ensure proper support.

• Take walks, do household chores, or simply relax while wearing the baby.

View a video demonstration with one of my clients here.

#4 Bath Time Fun

Bathing the babee can be a fun and intimate experience for dads and caregivers. The warm water, gentle touch, and playful interaction can make bath time an enjoyable routine for both.

How to Do It:

• Use a babee bathtub or sink with a gentle baby-safe soap.

• Make sure the water is warm, not hot.

• Gently splash water, sing songs, and talk to the baby while bathing them.

5. Story Time and Singing

Reading stories and singing to the babee helps to develop their listening skills and fosters a sense of security. It is quite fun making up your own songs too. Dads and caregivers can make this a special bonding time.

How to Do It:

• Choose age-appropriate books with bright pictures and simple texts.

• Read with different tones and expressions to keep the babee engaged. Be as animated as possible

• Sing lullabies or playful songs, even if you don’t think you’re a great singer – the babee loves hearing your voice.

6. Playtime and Tummy Time

Engaging in playtime activities helps to stimulate the babee’s development and strengthen the bond between the babee and the caregiver. Tummy time is also crucial for building the babee’s muscles.

How to Do It:

• Place the babee on a soft blanket on the floor for tummy time.

• Get down on the floor with the babee, making eye contact and encouraging them.

• Use toys, mirrors, or gentle sounds to keep the babee entertained.

• Play simple games like peek-a-boo or gently tickling the babee.

7. Bedtime Routines

Establishing a bedtime routine that includes dads and caregivers can create a soothing environment for the babee and reinforce bonding.

How to Do It:

• Develop a consistent routine that includes a bath, massage, reading, and singing.

• Use dim lights and a calm voice to create a peaceful atmosphere.

• Hold and rock the babee gently before putting them to bed.

So you see bonding with a breastfed babee is not limited to just feeding times. Dads and caregivers have numerous opportunities to create deep, meaningful connections with the babee through various activities. By incorporating skin-to-skin contact, babywearing, bath time, infant massage, story time, playtime, and bedtime routines, dads and caregivers can build a strong, loving bond with the babee, enriching the entire family experience. Remember, the love and care you provide in these moments are what truly matter.

Are you interested in learning how to give a massage to your babee. Join one of our group classes or book a private 1:1 session in the privacy of your home.


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