When you have a baby, it's only natural to wonder about what's going on in their little head. For instance, how does a baby know its father? Does it take a few days for that father-child bond to form, or does the kid know all about dad from the get-go? It would be great if babies could explain how they interpret the world, but parents are left with a lot of questions.
For what it's worth, though, you can make some pretty educated guesses about how much your baby understands about that friendly man in the house. A baby's senses develop at a fast clip, and this helps the little one get to know dad. According to Baby Center, infants can probably recognize parents by sight by the time they are 2 months old. It's possible that this visual recognition may take place much sooner, but babies are rather difficult to interview about these things.
There's also a good chance the baby will know dad by voice from a super young age. According to the website for Parenting, it's possible that babies can recognize dad's voice while still they're in the womb, starting around the 32 week mark. For what it's worth, your baby recognizes dad through sight and sound from a very young age, perhaps even before birth.
Because no one knows for sure when those connections start forming, there are a few steps dads can take to help bond with baby as soon as possible. Something as simple as feeling the baby kick during pregnancy can start the connection, according to WebMD. It drives home the point that a little person is on the way. At the birth, the dad can hold baby while the mother is resting from her labor. By cuddling and talking to his newborn, the father can start getting to know his baby at once, as explained by the website for Dr. Sears. Once the baby is out in the world, The Bump noted that dads can help facilitate bonding via skin-to-skin contact with the kid, allowing the little one to get accustomed to dad's scent and heartbeat. Letting the baby rest on dad's chest from time to time can go a long way toward instilling a lifelong connection.