Babies sure are hard. They’re frequently loud, smelly, uncooperative, and downright unreasonable. You also wouldn’t trade them for ANYTHING in the world, as long as whoever’s asking, asks when you’re not TOO sleep deprived. Since they haven’t learned to speak yet, it can be very hard for new parents (especially new dads who are usually off at work 40+ hours a week) to connect with a new bundle of joy.
After some practice, you will be able to tell a lot from your child’s cry, but taking care of your child’s needs is just one part of being a parent. A baby sitter or nanny could feed or change your child, but no one else can be Daddy. (And just wait and see how you will be wrapped around your baby’s finger when they learn to say that word!)
This blog is the first in a series about how Daddies can connect with and grow closer to their baby. You’ve probably heard how babies are like empty sponges and can soak up everything around them. How do babies (or anyone else for that matter) connect with and learn about everything (and Daddies) around them? Their five senses. As adults, we’ve come to rely on primarily our sense of sight and hearing, due to years of practical experience in the world. We can look at a can of soda, and we know from past experience the approximate weight of it. (Think how surprised you would be if a can of soda that you reached for weighed 30 pounds!) We can hear the wind rustling the leaves and know that there is no one behind us making that noise.
Babies, however, rely on all of their senses to learn about the world around them. That’s why they are always putting things in their mouth. They learn just about every observable thing they can when they do that. They look at it as they pick it up. They can detect an odor (if any) as it passes under their nose. They feel the hardness, temperature, and texture of it as touches their gums, lips, and tongue. They can taste different flavors on the object (please let this be food). They will also hear any sounds that the object might make. It sure explains a lot about why they put EVERYTHING in their mouths.
Look soon in the Fathers’ section for five blogs about Connecting with baby. Each one is going to cover one of the five senses, as well as give Dads some fun, practical ways to implement them so Daddy can connect with and form a lasting, close relationship to their baby.
For more on how baby’s sense develop see, Babies 5 Senses and How They Develop Over the First Year
Want to chat about how babies and daddies can bond better? Let’s meet in the forums!