It's no secret that mothers have the advantage when it comes to bonding with baby. From carrying to delivering to nursing, mothers are innately wired to feel connected with their babies. Although fathers don't have the same constant contact that mothers do with their babies, it doesn't lessen the importance of their bond with their child. It's been said that babies recognize their mother's voice while they're still in the womb, but when does a baby recognize their father? Not surprisingly, it may be much earlier than you'd expect.
Although the exact timeline isn't known for sure, some studies suggest babies can recognize their father's voice from the womb, and suggest that dads talk to their babies before they're born. One piece from Parents noted that babies can hear sounds from 16 weeks gestation, so speaking or singing often to your unborn babe will increase their ability to recognize the sound of your voice. Most research, according to Parenting, indicates that babies can recognize their father's voice from 32 weeks gestation (and immediately after birth.)
As far as facial recognition goes, that will take a bit more time. Since your baby's vision is extremely limited for the first hours, days, and weeks after they're born, Baby Center suggested that most babies should be able to recognize both parents' faces within the first few weeks (although some say it may take up to two months).
Even before that, though, babies love looking at human faces. Baby Center noted that, from birth, baby can see about eight to 15 inches away — the perfect distance to view your adoring face as you hold them. Although their vision is still developing, don't underestimate the importance of these first moments together. At about three months, your baby should be able to recognize your face from across the room, Kids Health noted.
Even though mom's role in bonding with baby is more "front and center" in the parenting world, dads deserve the same amount of attention and, eventually, recognition, from their little ones.