There's nothing sweeter than a father who wants to be involved in all aspects of his baby's life. From feeding, to soothing, to tummy time, there's no limit on the tasks a father can take over. In fact, chances are that mom will appreciate each and every baby-related duty a dad takes on. Since breastfeeding is technically the only "strictly mom" baby-task (except when she pumps,) taking over things after baby eats is a great way to get involved. There are lots of ways dads can and should help with swaddling, and soothing their babies after they've nursed or bottle-fed.
Many fathers speak about a lack of connection with their newborns. It's understandable — the mother is the one who carries, births, and breastfeeds the child. But, sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of extra effort on your end to create the connection you felt was lacking.
Newborns are confusing, schedule-less, and sometimes hard to handle, but swaddling has been known to work wonders for calming and helping babies sleep. According to Baby Sleep Site, swaddling helps babies sleep longer, helps them experience less anxiety, soothes their startle reflex, can even help with colic, and (not surprisingly) helps parents get more sleep too. So whether you're already a swaddling pro or have a hard time holding down your squirming baby, taking the initiative with these simple steps will grow your connection with your baby while taking some of the stress off of mama.
1. He Can Practice Till He's A Master
Learning the art of swaddling a fussy or squirmy baby isn't the easiest thing to do. More often than not, mothers, out of sheer necessity, master swaddling first. But, I'll let you in on a little known secret that I don't like to admit. My husband was the superior partner when swaddling was concerned. It just takes a little practice and you'll be a swaddle-master in no time.
2. He Can Sooth The Baby After They're Swaddled
According to Precious Little Sleep, swaddling lays the foundation for other soothing techniques that will help your baby sleep better. If you'd rather not handle the actual deed of swaddling, take over afterwards by rocking, bouncing, shushing, or soothing your baby.
3. He Can Get The "Next Step" Ready While Mama Swaddles
Whether your baby needs to eat, nap, or just be held, you can handle the next steps to make the transition from grumpy baby to soothed baby a smooth one.
4. He Can Wear The Baby In A Wrap
There's no law that says moms are the only ones that can wear their babies. In fact, according to La Leche League International, babywearing is not only extremely convenient, but it helps with baby/parent bonding as well. Even though it's not quite the same technique as swaddling, wearing your baby in a wrap is a similar practice that has amazing benefits.
5. He Can Just Take Over
Since breastfeeding is technically the only thing that's strictly "mom's duty" (and even then there's the beauty of breast pumps,) there's no reason at all why you can't take over the entire process of post-feeding soothing, swaddling, and laying baby down.