Since Father's Day is this weekend, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate dads (and to post a gratuitous picture of Gavin Rossdale). For many babies, dads are the primary care giver. Let's talk numbers: According to the US Census Bureau, there are 66.3 million fathers in the US today and roughly 20% of them are the primary care givers (for more stats visit rebeldad.com). The other 80% aren't exactly sitting around watching golf or NASCAR. Now more than ever, dads are involved with the kids from the beginning. We've got some tips to encourage this bonding from birth and beyond.
Great ideas for first Daddy/Baby outings include a quick trip to the park, a stroll to the coffee shop (no drinking coffee over baby's head) or window shopping for new sportscars. The key is to keep moving, talk to baby and give mom a break. We love baby carriers for these outings. They leave hands free for dad and don't look too feminine.
If dad heads back to work encourage him to take charge of planning a weekly activity with baby/toddler/big kid. Some ideas include: heading to a music class (participation of adults is mandatory), sports teams (maybe even volunteering as a coach), heading to the pool, riding bikes (we love all the new tandem bikes and modern trailers such as the Taga), attending art classes or food shopping and preparing a weekend meal. Once dad gets the hang of being in charge he may even want to consider taking over full time. Spending time with the kids can turn into a treat and an adventure not a chore when you've got the right gear and the right attitude.
The Dos and Don'ts of Modern Fatherhood
Do encourage bonding right away. Breastfeeding aside, there is really no reason dad and baby can't spend quality time together. Use that breast pump or formula (whatever is working for you), the diaper bag and scoot dad and baby out the door.
Don't micromanage. Yes, we know you want to tell him how the baby likes to be burped and the favorite toy, but let him figure a few things out on his own. I bet dad will surprise you with his ingenuity.
Do consider the best person to stay at home. Maybe mom has the better benefit package and the cushier hours. SAHDs are on the rise.
Don't give in to peer pressure. Dad cannot use the term "babysitting" while watching the baby. Friends are not allowed to make you feel less motherly if you opt to return to work instead of the baby's father.
Momtrends Baby's First is Sponsored by Scandinavian Child and lillebaby EveryWear Sport: The lillebaby EveryWear Sport is a versatile child carrier, featuring multiple sitting positions and all-in-one carrying (outward facing/inward facing, hip or back) from newborn to toddler. The contoured seat offers ergonomic sitting positions and promotes healthy spine development. The Sport features lightweight mesh fabric and a two toned design with a sporty edge for an active lifestyle. It also features pockets for keys, cell phone, and diapers for parents' convenience..
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