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WOTBaby discovers dads are absent in baby’s first weeks of life:
Experts urging dads to form vital connections as soon as baby's birth
Date: December 19 2016
52.2% of dads have minimal to no involvement in early weeks of a newborn’s life – parenting expert and founder of WOTBaby, Jen Hamilton urges this to change
Despite dads playing a greater involvement in parenting generally, a new survey reveals an absence in the early weeks. Experts are urging families to alter this, saying dads need to form vital connections as soon as the baby is born. The survey, commissioned by parenting app WOTBaby, found 52.2% of Australians believe fathers have minimal to no involvement in the early weeks of a newborn’s life.
Jen Hamilton, parenting expert and founder of WOTBaby, believes a father’s role is just as important as a mothers and the relationship between dad and baby should be nurtured from birth. Altering the popular perception that’s it all about mum and bub at the beginning, Jen says, “While supporting mum is important, it’s vital for dad to be as hands on as possible from the get-go, in an effort to establish their own bond with baby.” Adding, “For example, the fact a mother usually breastfeeds means dad tends to take a back-seat and can feel left out, however, there are many other ways in which dad can get involved.”
Pre-birth Jen suggest being “physically involved by discussing and communicating the growth in the baby, the changes of the mother’s body, feeling her tummy and talking to bub. Babies can hear before they are born, so it’s worthwhile for dad to get involved with lots of talking”. Upon baby’s arrival however, physical contact is one of the strongest human instincts we have, so it’s equally as important for both mum and dad to have this connection with the bub as early as possible. As Jen suggests “skin to skin contact with dad gives the bub a sense of warmth and security, which they will love. Ultimately, the more time dad interacts with their baby, it gives them opportunities to feel their rhythm and become confident bonding with them”. Jen also suggests helping out with nappy changing and bath time.
In order to make parenting more balanced and ensure equal bonding with each parent, Hamilton also suggests for dads to spend some alone time with bub, to be able to have the opportunity to figure things out for themselves, which, in turn, will create a stronger bond between dad and the baby. Another way to do this is, once a breast-feeding routine is established, is to get dads involved in the feeding process by introducing “a bottle every second day or so if mum is happy to express and everything is going well, asThis is a really great way for dads to feel connected and involved”. Ultimately through such involvement you hope to ensure that dad’s feel valued in the parenting journey “Otherwise they are going to step away, and the more they step away, the less likely they are going to feel the rhythm of the baby and become confidently bonded with them.”
With mums under pressure to do it all, as well with as the intense bonding that is occurring it can often be difficult for new mothers to relinquish control and
spend time apart in those early bonding days. However, this is essential to ensure proper bonding between dad and baby, and will ensure a greater relationship between the two which will be beneficial in both the short and long term.
By incorporating these parenting solutions into your routine this will ensure dad has a vital, well-defined role and can properly bond with the baby and ensure parenting is a shared responsibility- as well as give mums a well- deserved rest at times!
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Jen is a published author, mum of three and in her career as parenting expert Jen has helped thousands of parents and caregivers adjust to their baby including Emma Isaacs, founder of Business Chicks. WOTBaby is an Australian first personalised app that supports the journey of raising babies from newborn to six months. Tailored to the child’s name and age, the app provides the caregiver or parent with week-by- week development milestones and tackles the myriad of challenges parents might be navigating through at that particular stage such as feeding and settling. What sets the technology apart from anything else on the market, is that it acknowledges that every baby and every parent is different, and so offers an instant step-by- step flow of tips and tricks parents or carers can try to find what works for them as well instructional videos. This mid-wife- in-your- pocket app is available for $2.99 from the app store at: http://apple.co/2aYUlKi