Bringing a baby into the world is an amazing experience for a couple and creates an incredible bond. However, some dads may spend those first nights in the hospital and at home feeling helpless when it comes to comforting and meeting the immediate needs of their child.
Until you begin to look around, you don’t realize just how common it is to see dads wearing their babies. Here are a few reasons dads should (and increasingly do!) wear their babies.
Those first months can be overwhelming for any parent — from a new mom to a veteran, getting your partner involved is essential.
Skin-to-skin contact during the “fourth trimester” and beyond is beneficial to baby’s continued development and attachment.
I’ve previously extolled the many benefits of skin-to-skin contact and wearing your baby, and those benefits come from not only mom, but dad as well. Increases in oxytocin from skin-to-skin was seen in both babies and fathers when worn, leading to increased attachment and readiness for social engagement.
It’s Good for Baby, Good for Daddy
New babies are still developing and refining senses. Exposure to different stimuli can help baby develop. This comes from all physical and social interaction. Men have different gaits than women, different heartbeats, different breathing patterns, different movements, different voice sounds — just to name a few. Babies love a bit of a change up, and this helps them bond with both mom and dad.
It’s Good for Mama
Having a partner who can fully take on caring for baby is key to helping families adjust to a new and needy member. Whether it’s a chance to take a shower alone or make a trip to get a pedicure, mamas often need some space and non-touch time, time to focus on their own being.
When my husband would wrap up our daughter and take her for a walk, I relished that time to myself and felt renewed upon their return.
Developing that first baby registry can be shocking. The amount of gear, tools, toys, and products every list and article says one cannot do without is overwhelming. Houses fill up with bouncers, rockers, play mats, strollers, and a myriad of other items billed as “essential” during the first years.
While it’s true that kids seem to come along with lots of stuff — a parent doesn’t always have to be mired down in these things. Putting baby in the carrier and simply going out for a walk, doing the shopping, making dinner, or gardening can all be done easily with minimal gear.
Your baby, your wrap, and a plan are often all Dad needs for a couple hours of hands-free bonding time. Baby gets to settle in and enjoy while Dad gets to feel the closeness, the snuggles, and the connection that it brings.
Get baby involved in your activities, too. Afraid baby will fall in the water at the lake? Wear him.
Want to go to the street fair but can’t imagine putting your child on a leash? Wear her.
Need to go see the grandparents on the other side of the country? Wear that baby through security.
Disneyland with an infant? Sure, wrap that kid up and go!
Sometimes parents, especially dads, can feel limited by the addition of a new baby, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There’s no better way to continue to get out and get your small person involved with your passions than to wear them.
Wearing your baby has a unique way of bringing two bodies into one. The child moves with you, sees the same things you do, goes where you go, and shares in experiences like no other way possible.
After a few tries, my husband became the expert on our wrap and could practically reign in our toddler or newborn with one hand. When seated properly and with the right carrier, it’s easy to forget your new baby is there. With toddlers, it’s a fun way to engage them while still keeping control.
Yep, that’s right. It’s true. When a partner can fully engage with your children and own their care, it’s an amazing feeling of relief and freedom for a mama and quite the aphrodisiac.
Gone are the days of standoffish dads who don’t want to get involved. We now have a society that embraces the stay-at-home dad, the playdate dad, the grocery-boss dad, and all this is done with a baby strapped to his chest or back.
Our world is everyday becoming more progressive and accepting. As a culture, we’re catching up with other traditions and universal customs — dads are parents and nurturers too!
For generations, people have been wearing babies. Hundreds of years of tradition for a reason — it’s comfortable, convenient, practical, and good for all parties.
What’s the most unusual place or circumstance in which you found yourself or your partner wearing your baby?