Monday, March 21, 2011

Inquisition Monday: Daddy/baby bonding

I got a couple of questions last week and I'll answer this one today and the other next week. :)

Lisa asked, How does McKay bond with your kids, especially when they were newborns?

First, there were some good recommendations in the comments after this question was asked. Second, I asked McKay if he wanted to respond to this directly and his response was, "I can't even finish my thesis!" so I guess his writing time is limited.

I think McKay and I are an interesting pair. He hasn't felt slighted by me breastfeeding at all. I've asked, "Do you feel left out because you don't get to feed the baby?" but he immediately responds, "No. That's what you do."

With Margaret, McKay went back to school four days after her birth so I did most of the bonding early on. He did wear her around the house some and held her, but I was also in a state that I didn't want anybody holding her for fear that she would wake up in the transfer of arms. So those early days went like this: nurse her to sleep, sit on the couch holding her too afraid to move else she'd wake up, when she woke up, she was fussy, so hold her and nurse her. Repeat. I watched lots of movies.

But we have a few pictures of McKay with her as a newborn and two of them are at the bottom of this post. One is of him holding her and dozing off and the other he is playing our N64 while she was in the wrap.

The time after Isaac's birth was almost in direct contrast. I don't know why, perhaps because I had been so touched out after nursing through a pregnancy, but in those early days, I rarely wanted to hold him. I nursed him for 5 minutes and then passed him off to whomever I could (mostly McKay). So McKay got a lot of the newborn time during the 3 weeks he had off.

McKay really loves bathing our babies. I don't care much for that; we're at the stage when both kids will sit in the bottom of the tub while I shower and I figure that's good enough. But McKay loves to hold Isaac and wet his hair and rub the baking soda in and all of that stuff. We both do diaper duty, and that's a little bonding time: it's just you and the baby and you're taking care of the baby's needs. McKay is the one who ECs in the morning- he has the amazing patience when it comes to holding a baby over a bowl and cueing!

Also, McKay does all of the non-nursing night wakings, which, comparatively, aren't that many. Potty runs with Margaret and helping Isaac when he pees out his diaper. And if the child is just fussy and doesn't want breast, he holds them so I can sleep. This happens during teething and illness.

And like I mentioned in last week's post- oxytocin, oxytocin. Oxytocin hugs, holding the baby, sleeping next to the baby. Isaac goes to bed before Margaret, so when I nurse her to sleep, McKay will go and cuddle Isaac. It's adorable.

ETA: Just asked McKay over google chat if he had recommendations. His response: hold the baby,
dance and sing to it, bring the baby to mommy's breast (so feeding time isn't just mommy),
wear the baby.

Anyone else with recommendations for Lisa and her husband?


  1. Thanks so much for answering my question. Dave has been able to bond more and more with Eliana and he is feeling better about their relationship everyday.

  2. Those suggestions pretty much cover it. My husband was able to easily bond with our daughter as an infant because I went back to work and he cared for her during the day. I thought he was amazing with how he mastered just going about his day and taking her with him. Trips to school, the library, the bank all with her in the sling.

    The only other thing I would suggest is to encourage daddy to just get in there. I hear sometimes that a father is nervous about holding the baby or doing something wrong while caring for it, and it makes me sad. It's his baby too and he is just as capable of holding and caring for a baby as the mother. My husband just got right in there and picked her up whenever he wanted, rocking, singing or playing music for her. I never worried about her when I left her with him because he was so confident.


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