Why go on paternity leave?

Why go on paternity leave?

Both you and your baby will benefit if you take paternity leave, because:

It gives the baby a secure base
When both parents take leave, the baby’s secure base is
doubled. It lays the foundations for the child to have two special people to trust and turn to. The baby will also learn that both men and women can provide care, and you may find that the child comes more often to you for comfort or a hug.
Paternity leave gives you some very special time to spend with your baby. If you have never been on paternity leave before, it may be hard to imagine what it is like. Be prepared for a completely new experience in your life as you dedicate yourself completely to being a twosome: just you with a little baby. It will probably be a challenge, but wonderful too.

The first two weeks were tough, the next eight were fantastic. Really, really great to be there and just cosy up and tickle and play and laugh… He has thoroughly enjoyed it too, and we have had lots of fun.

Why take paternity leave?

- Lots of things to do with your child
- It strengthens your relationship
- It is good for your partnership and family life

You form a special relationship with your child

Many fathers who have taken paternity leave describe how it has led to a very special relationship between them and the baby. It may not have been there previously, or an existing relationship may be
strengthened during paternity leave. Many dads also find that during that period the child goes to them instead of mum, for example to be comforted or at bedtime. The upheaval comes as a
surprise and delight for most parents.

You give your child the best chances in life

Taking paternity leave often strengthens feelings for the child. Paternity leave is something positive to enjoy for its own sake, but apart from that, the relationship is very important for your child’s well-being and development. Research shows that children with strong ties to both parents do better in several aspects of life, and generally thrive better.

Research suggests that children who have close relationships with their fathers are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, they reach higher levels of education, are less likely to commit crime, and they show positive characteristics such as independence, robustness and social skills.

You strengthen relations with your partner and family life

Some fathers find that their relations with their partner and family life are better after paternity leave. They say they understand better what it is like to stay at home with a small child. Those who take paternity leave are more likely to take an active part in caring for the child, for example staying home on the child’s first sick day. When you take part in caring for your child, you strengthen the relationship between you.
There appear to be are fewer break-ups and divorces among families who share parental leave and responsibility for the children.