Helpful hints for hands-on dads

Wear your baby. Slings and front packs enable you to give your baby the closeness she needs without always having your arms full. Babies are also usually content in these carriers (particularly helpful with fussy babies), which helps promote bonding.


Your forearm makes a nice pillow. If your baby is always looking for a breast when you hold him, try this position: Hold your baby face down over one arm with his cheek nestled against the soft underside of your forearm and your hand cupping him under the crotch. Some people say this is good for gas. I don’t know about that, but there’s something about a manly forearm that seems to fit well with a baby’s head.


Sing her a song. Singing is one of the best ways to get a baby to respond and pay close attention to you. And it doesn’t matter what you sing or how good your voice is.
Go it alone. It’s hard for a father to work out his own style while mom is looking over his shoulder. It can help if fathers are sometimes left to their own devices with no one to bail them out. Short solo stints (as little as 20 to 30 minutes) with a freshly fed baby are best in the beginning. Early morning is a good time to try this, since many babies are in a good mood at this time of the day, and mom usually needs the sleep anyway.


Develop a thick skin. Your partner will correct you at times. Other times it may seem like she wants everything to be done her way. This is normal. It’s just her way of trying to bring order to a situation that often feels out of control (plus she might actually be right sometimes). This should ease up as her self-confidence and her confidence in your parenting skills increase.