There’s no question that breastfeeding is a wonderful way for a nursing mom to bond with her brand new baby. It’s comforting for baby, and the constant skin-to-skin time is great for both mama and little one.
But bonding with baby is not exclusively for moms who breastfeeding. These five easy ways for non-nursing parents to bond with a breastfed baby will give moms and dads who aren’t breastfeeding great ways to connect with their new child.
Easy Ways for Non-Nursing Partners to Bond with a Breastfed Baby
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1. Skin-to-Skin Contact
Some new parents think that skin-to-skin contact is reserved only for a birth mom and her baby. Nope! Not true at all.
Skin-to-skin time with a non-breastfeeding dad or mom provides baby with tons of the same great benefits that s/he gets during nursing sessions. So whip off that shirt and get to snuggling!
2. Wear the Baby
Like breastfeeding, baby wearing provides comfort for your little one, and gives parents a chance to stay close and bond, as well. Plus, it saves you from having to tote around a stroller when you’re out-and-about (making important things like entering coffee shops MUCH easier to do), and generally keeps your little one calmer.
If you don’t have a baby carrier yet, this Ergo carrier is my absolute favorite! It can be used from newborn – 48 months, comes in tons of colors, and can be easily worn by both men and women.
You can also browse through some more affordable options on Amazon, or check out Etsy, which has a great selection of wrap-style carriers and fun options like this baby carrier sweatshirt for men. (I know, right?! Father’s Day gift idea, y’all.)
3. Give Baby a Bath
Taking over bath duties is a win-win. You get to sneak in some extra bonding time, and you take an essential baby duty off of your breastfeeding partner’s plate (which makes a HUGE difference, especially during those first few weeks of newborn life).
Try putting your own unique spin on bath time by picking out your own bath soundtrack for you and baby (my partner went with Irish drinking songs). You can also try getting into your full-sized bathtub with your baby for some extra skin-on-skin time, if you’re comfortable with that.
4. Bottle Feed (If Applicable)
If bottle feeding with expressed breastmilk or formula is a part of your baby’s feeding routine, step in and give your baby their bottle! Your baby will be able to look up at your face while eating, allowing them to start associating you with comfort and meeting their needs.
5. Make Eye Contact
Simple, but super effective. Making regular eye contact with your little one is an easy way to bond with baby that you can do any time your child is awake.
Sing a song, talk to them, be silly, be sweet. Just make sure you’re looking into those eyes (and soaking it all in) while you’re doing it.