Many mothers don’t like to admit it. But they do feel wary about leaving the baby with Dad.
It’s a natural feeling. You put so much time and energy into pregnancy and childbirth. So you want to maintain your role as primary caregiver.
But with 3 in 4 Americans keen to celebrate Father’s Day, it’s clear that dads are important to a child’s development.
You’re not the only one that’s invested in your child. Your partner will want to spend time with your baby too – without you hovering in the background.
It might sound scary. But it’s absolutely essential to make sure Dad feels included and gets to bond with his own children.
But we know it’s hard. So read on to learn how you can trust leaving your baby with Dad.
The situation you want to avoid is making Dad feel like you’re constantly watching him. That’s just going to put you both on edge, which isn’t a healthy environment for your baby.
But you don’t have to go from sole caregiver to absent parent overnight. Start small and build up to longer periods away from your baby.
That way your partner has confidence that he knows how to care for your baby. And you can rest easy, knowing he’s confident.
So let Dad get up during the night when your baby wakes up. You’ll get extra sleep and Dad will get precious time with your baby.
You can easily leave bottles in the fridge. When the cry goes up, let him swing into action.
Our range of European formulas are organic and don’t contain GMOs. So they’re perfect for your little one, and gives him a chance to try his hand at mixing them up.
It’s also a good idea to show him how you hold your baby while you’re feeding. That way your baby gets the same level of care and attention.
Try our feeding tips to help you both bond with your child.
If your baby cries while you’re both home, let Dad comfort her once in a while. That way she’ll learn that Dad can also give her what she needs.
You can even set aside special playtime that’s just your baby with Dad. Your baby will learn to look forward to time with Dad.
That also gives you an opportunity to put your feet up. Or just sit and watch – it’ll be fun for you too!
When you go out as a family, let Dad carry your baby in a sling or carrier. It’ll help them to bond and give your back a much-needed break.
It’ll also help Dad feel more trusted and included. And you’ll be able to watch how he handles your baby while you’re around.
That way you’re more likely to trust him when you’re not.
Then try leaving your baby with Dad for longer.
You’ll be tired from looking after your baby all day. So try planning an afternoon with friends.
It might only be an hour or two at first. Perhaps you just want to pop to the store on your own.
Leave your baby with Dad and a small list of chores. He can use a carrier to keep your baby close while he cleans.
It’ll give you a break and him time to bond with your baby. And you won’t need to look at dusty furniture or messy floors when you get back.
If your baby gets sick, try letting Dad take your baby to the doctor instead of you. He cares just as much as you do, but it’s easy for him to feel left out if you don’t let him do anything by himself.
Gradually extend the amount of time that your baby spends with Dad. If you’re planning to go back to work, you’ll need to be able to share the caregiving.
Remember there will be times when you won’t have any choice but to leave your baby with Dad. You’re bound to get sick at some point and he’ll need to have the confidence to take over the caregiving role.
Letting him be involved early on is great training for him. Besides, fathers often feel left out when a baby arrives.
Getting him involved means he won’t feel cast aside. He’ll know he’s still important to you, as well as your baby.
It’s vital if you want to avoid any subconscious resentment.
But if you’re really struggling to trust him…
Why not suggest a meetup with other couples you know with babies? You can get support from the other mums and see how other dads handle their babies.
There are 2.6 million households run by single fathers in the US. They can’t all be doing it wrong.
Feeling guilty about not wanting to leave your baby with Dad is perfectly natural. But it won’t help you to bond as a family.
Try not to criticize anything your partner does unless it’s dangerous. Remember that he has his own way of doing things, and yours isn’t the only way.
It’s just your way. Your parents probably do things differently as well. And you turned out just fine.
And ask yourself this; do you really not trust Dad, or are you just scared you’ll miss your baby?
If that’s the case, then ask Dad if he doesn’t mind sending you photos of their time together. Smartphones make it easy to send photos and videos.
You’ll get to see how much fun they’re having. But you’ll also have a record of your baby’s development.
Just make sure you do the same for Dad.
You can also read posts like our guide to soothing a newborn together. You can chat about the content and get his opinion.
Whatever you choose to do, just remember that you need time as a family.
That means all of you together – but also your baby with Dad.
Letting Dad do the caregiving will also set a great example for your child. Studies show that your baby can even learn their sense of humor from you.
Why not teach your baby how to have a healthy and loving family too?