Top Tips for Dads on Bonding With Your Baby

dad kissing baby

As a new dad, it is really important to create time for bonding with your baby. But, it’s easy to feel like you have less opportunity to get involved and create a strong bond that will grow with them. 

At Dadvengers, we know that anything you can do to get involved with your baby are also great bonding opportunities. Here are our top tips for bonding with your baby.

Start Bonding Before They’re Born

Although you may not be the one growing the baby, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to start bonding before they’re born. At around 18 weeks, babies in the womb can hear sounds, including the voices around them. 

This is a great time to start helping your baby get used to hearing your voice. It can feel a little strange at first, but try to stick with it. If you’re not comfortable just talking, try reading a book, singing, telling them lists of the things you like, or even the things you’re looking forward to doing with them when they’re born. 

They will start to learn your voice and this will help them recognise you when they're born - starting that bond early.

Nappy Changing Bonding

Once the baby is born there are loads of opportunities to bond during everyday tasks. Typically a newborn baby will need changing around 10-12 times a day. This gives plenty of opportunities for you to bond with your baby! While you’re on paternity leave, why not take charge of the nappy changes completely and use that time to bond. 

Throughout the change, make eye contact when you can, smile at your baby, and try to talk or sing to them. Its the perfect chance to practice your best dad jokes! Just hearing your voice as you take care of their needs will help them bond with you.

After returning to work, it is even more important to find time to bond. So changing nappies when you’re home will not only make you a supportive, involved parent, it also gives you more opportunity to bond.

Bathtime Bonding

Some babies love the bath, others not so much! But, it is a task that needs to happen regularly and is another great opportunity for dads to bond. Handling bath time will create some time everyday for you to have one on one time with your child.

Talk soothingly to your baby while they’re in the bath and tell them what you’re going to do next, for example “Daddy is going to wash your tummy now”. Or, talk about different body parts as you wash them, “Look daddy is washing your feet — shall we count your toes?”. 

You can also try singing, and remember, you don’t have to have the voice of an angel to sing to your baby! They will enjoy hearing you softly singing nursery rhymes or songs you like no matter how good, or bad, a singer you are. Gently playing with the water and having fun in the bath will also help you guys to bond. A little careful splashing can be fun for your baby, and shows them daddy is there for fun parts too!

Skin to Skin - Comfort and Bonding with Your Baby

Skin to skin contact is really comforting for your baby. They can hear the sound of your heart beating, get used to your smell, and feel the warmth of your skin. Plus, it lowers their cortisol levels (the stress hormone). All of those things will help your baby be soothed and increase the bond you have.

After bath time can be a great time for skin to skin, but you can do it anytime of the day, or night! Try taking off your top, and removing baby’s clothes. Sit comfortably and grab a blanket, hold your little one against your chest, and wrap the blanket over you both to keep warm.

Talking softly to your baby throughout this will keep that bond growing. It can feel strange at first to have a one way conversation, but this is also really important for baby’s development. Skin to skin contact is also great for you, as it reduces your stress levels and increases oxytocin. It really is great for both of you!

Getting Outside With Your Little one

Taking your baby out, just the two of you, is a really great way to increase your bond. It helps your baby to get used to dad being in sole charge, and creates lots of great opportunities to talk and play. Taking your baby out for a walk in the pushchair or in a baby carrier, even if it's just for 10 minutes a day, can really help. 

Try taking your baby out for a walk before bed time to get them ready for bed, or go for a walk in the day and talk to them about all the things you can see around you. This will also help you grow in confidence caring for your baby on your own. 

Starting with just 10 minute walks will soon grow to longer periods outside and in sole charge of the baby. If you’re not sure where to go with your little one, you can look for a great Dad and Baby group near you. Joining a dad and baby group gives you more opportunity to take baby out on your own, and in turn gives more time for you to bond!

Playtime - Fun and Bonding with Your Baby

Playtime is another brilliant opportunity for bonding with your baby. It’s important for dads to play with their babies from a very early age; you actually can’t start too early! There are loads of ways to play with your little one, from age-appropriate toys to simply making faces and laughing together. 

Play is full of great opportunities to keep that bond growing.

Bonding Keeps Growing as They Do

Now you’ve started bonding, just keep going! As your baby grows so will your bond and relationship. You’ll find fun things you like to do together as they get older, share different activities together, and find new shared interests. 

Starting your one on one time with your little one early gives you the best chance at creating a strong bond that will last a lifetime. For more fun tips on parenting head over to We have a whole section dedicated to new dads, where you can find lots of top tips to help you with your baby!



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