What you can do with your baby

1. Show how you care

Your newborn baby needs all the care and contact he/she can get from you. As a father, you can hold your child and talk and chat to him/her, and you can also make contact at changing time. It gives your child a sense of security and helps strengthen the bond between you.

#TIP: Hold your baby between feeds, when he/she is happy and not hungry.

2. Look into your child’s eyes

Eye contact is important for a small child, even though the eyes may seem to wander a lot at first. Over time, you’ll find that your child will gradually get better at maintaining eye contact. While looking into your child’s eyes, you can make funny faces or talk and chat. Even if he/she doesn’t understand what you’re saying, your baby can recognise daddy’s voice from inside the womb, so it is soothing and reassuring.

#TIP: Your newborn baby sees things best at a distance of 20-35cm, so make sure you get really close.

3. Provide skin-to-skin contact

Skin-to-skin contact is important for the development of your baby’s immune system. For example, you can give your baby skin-to-skin contact by lying on the sofa with your baby on your stomach. Your child only needs to have a nappy on, and you can take off your shirt or unbutton it. Remember, it’s best if you don’t fall asleep while your baby is on your stomach.

#TIP: Put a duvet or blanket over your baby, so he/she will not get cold when you have skin-to-skin contact.

4. Help your baby settle down

Babies don’t only cry because they’re hungry; they also cry when they need comforting. As a father, you can be the one to provide comfort and reassurance by walking around with the baby and perhaps rocking him/her gently. Sometimes it’s an advantage for you as a dad to comfort or put the child to bed, as you don’t smell of breast milk as your partner typically does. That can make the baby feel hungry, and therefore restless.

#TIP: Go into a quiet room with your baby or go for a walk with the pram so your baby can settle down.

5. Support your child's physical development

There are many ways you can support your child’s physical development. Your baby needs to strengthen his/her neck and back, and you can help by laying the baby on his/her tummy when awake. You can also talk to your health visitor about which exercises are right for your child.

#TIP: If your child grumbles about lying on his/her tummy, lie down yourself and make it more interesting.