Home Family Leigh Weiser on the New Father’s Guide to Bonding: Creating Lasting Connections

Leigh Weiser on the New Father’s Guide to Bonding: Creating Lasting Connections

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Leigh Weiser

Leigh Weiser is a husband and father of a young son. In the following article, Leigh Weiser discusses the importance of bonding to the baby as a new dad, and why it’s important to create lasting connections with the newest generation of dads.

Moms get a head start when it comes to bonding with their babies. From the (typically) nine months of pregnancy to the birth to the breastfeeding, mothers often find it easier to develop that raw, powerful connection. New dads, however, may be wondering when this bond really kicks in and how to foster the relationship from the get-go.

Despite much of the research revolving around the benefits of a strong attachment between the mother and child, paternal connections are just as strong, eliciting many of the same benefits. Thankfully, dads can and do develop intense bonds with their children through quality time and shared activities throughout the critical development period (birth to three years); they just tend to take a little longer than moms.

Leigh Weiser Says That Intimacy is Important for Dads and Babies…

Leigh Weiser explains that stereotypically, the mother is considered the soft nurturer, while the father plays a hard disciplinarian role. Because of this, many soon-to-be dads are confused about whether it’s necessary for them to be close with their newborns since babies don’t usually depend on them for survival.

However, relatively recent studies confirm that father-baby intimacy shouldn’t be optional — it’s vital for infant health.

Leigh Weiser reports that a 2017 review discovered enhanced connections between dads and babies positively contributed to breastfeeding, healthy weight gain, and fewer cognitive delays. Other studies suggest paternal-baby bonding boasts psychologically benefits, with one experiment concluding infants with less trust/intimacy with their fathers weren’t as adept at controlling emotions in new situations.

Early father-child interactions may also be integral to developing healthy relationships in adulthood. Without it, individuals are less likely to feel confident, safe, or trusting in their partners.

Leigh Weiser

…But Bonding Takes Time.

Although the paternal bond is just as important as the maternal bond, new dads to be patient. As briefly touched upon already, they don’t have the same physical connections that moms and babies have. So, it takes longer to establish a powerful bond.

Fathers foster relationships with their babies by playing, caring, and communicating. Leigh Weiser says that as the little sunshines grow, they begin smiling, babbling, and laughing along with dads’ interactions, creating a genuine two-way relationship.

It takes about six months to arrive, but it’s more than worth it in the end — for father and baby alike.

How New Fathers Can Develop Lifelong Connections with Their Babies

Leigh Weiser also notes that developing the father-baby bond means understanding how infants connect with their parents. After all, they can’t yet talk or understand spoken word.

Babies are looking for (primarily) three things from their parents: skin-to-skin contact, eye-to-eye contact, and something vocal to imitate. While the focus tends to be on moms providing these three things, dads can (and should) get involved to.

These expert-given tips work wonders for new dads to build everlasting bonds with their babies:

Skin-to-Skin Snuggling

Just like mothers, fathers should get skin-to-skin time as quickly after the birth as possible. But this is only the beginning of skin-to-skin contact. Leigh Weiser says that it’s the best way for dads to keep strengthening that connection in the coming months.

Whether cuddling, changing, or carrying, this quality time helps the little bundles know they’re loved and secured. Babies hear their fathers’ heartbeats and grow used to their unique scents, associating both with safety — just like they did with their moms in the womb.

Since touch is such a powerful sense at this age, dads should also perform baby massages. They release tons of oxytocin (e.g., the happy hormone) in both father and baby, solidifying the connection.

Leigh Weiser

Making Eye Contact

Leigh Weiser explains that research shows that prolonged eye contact synchronizes dads’ brain waves with their children’s. The same study concluded the same can be said infants. Thus, gazing into those gorgeous eyes is the perfect way to ensure dad and baby are truly on the same page.

Establishing Traditions

Whether it’s reading books, singing lullabies, or playing, doing things together and establishing dad-child traditions are sure-fire ways to acquire an unbreakable bond.

While this can start from birth, it kicks up a gear at the six-month-old mark. This is when rough-and-tumble play can begin (aeroplaning, bouncing, tickling, etc.), releasing dopamine, beta-endorphin, and oxytocin to flood dad and baby with tons of bonding chemicals.

Conclusion

In a world that continually redefines the roles of fathers, Leigh Weiser’s guide stands as a testament to the transformative power of intentional parenting. These insights are intended to not only empower fathers to navigate the complexities of modern parenting but also contribute to a richer tapestry of familial connections. In forging these lasting bonds, fathers should embrace the journey, fostering a legacy of love and understanding that resonates through generations.

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