Once you've had a baby, you and your partner will be facing new challenges - and it's important that you work as a team.
Here are some ideas for supporting your partner and effectively bonding with your baby:
- Talk with your partner as often as possible about your feelings, what you need, and how you can best be involved in caring for your baby.
- Support your partner while she is breastfeeding. Bring her a glass of water or milk. Ask her if she needs a pillow.
- It’s normal to feel anxious about taking care of your baby at first. You're not the only new parent who has felt this way. Spending lots of hands-on time with your baby will help you get more comfortable. You probably didn't feel comfortable the first time you drove a car, either.
- Put your baby on your chest and spend time together. Children need to feel close to both parents.
- Change your baby's diaper, give her a bath, dress, sing, dance, or just cuddle your baby. Play with him as often as possible. It's OK to choose toys you like to play with, too.
- Try to get enough sleep, be physically active, go for walks as a family, and eat healthy foods.
- Ask other parents for advice. They've been through this.
- Get involved with other parents - meet with people from prenatal classes, work, or from a new parenting class.
- Remember - all parents make mistakes.
- Enjoy each phase of parenthood. It won’t come around again with this child.
- Plan to have time for activities other than parenting. Try tag team parenting - allow one parent to be "off" sometimes.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Always think safety first. Ask yourself “What is the safest thing to do here?”
- Always wash your hands before playing with or caring for your baby.
- Never leave your baby alone, even for a second, on a change table, counter, chair, or couch, or in the bath.
- Never leave your baby unattended with your pet.
- Never shake or hit your baby.