Paternal Bond - Father Love
Manual For Dads

Paternal Bond is life-long relationship between child and father.

Paternal Bond

Everybody talks about maternal bond, the attachment between mother and a child. While the mother-child bond is super important, the father many times is kinda left out from all the baby touching, bonding, kissing, feeding.

In this article:

When does the father bonding begin?

There are 3 stages when fathers can bond with their children.

1. Womb bonding happens during pregnancy. According to the studies, ultrasound can play an important role for a  paternal bond. Talking, singing, touching mother’s belly also help for a father to create a bond with a baby.

2. Birth bonding happens right after birth. It depends on how much father is involved into the labor and whole pregnancy process.

3. “First soccer practice - age” bonding. If it happens later, don’t sweat it. Better late than never, because the relationship a father will have with his son/daughter will influence child’s life greatly.

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TIPS for creating paternal bond

Unfortunately, babies do not come with “instructions how to use”. For many dads a screaming baby with a full diaper might seem like mission impossible. Talk about bonding when the father is scared to hold the baby.

But with the right guidance you will see that there is nothing more natural and pure simple than bonding with your child. So read these tips and start bonding!

1. Daily routine care.

Even if you had a long day at work - find few minutes and get involved into:

  • diaper changing,
  • playing,
  • holding (wearing),
  • rocking.
  • baby massage. In fact, recent study shows that baby massage not only helps to bond but also reduces stress for dads.

Babies like company, so just be near your child. Keep him company by giving baby a lot of eye contact and facial expression.

2. Talk.

According to the study babies (starting when they are 30 weeks in the womb) can distinguish between parents and strangers voices. To fathers luck, their voices are more recognizable than mother’s because of their lower tone which is easier for babies to recognize.

So if dads speak to the baby while he is in the womb, the newborn is more likely to recognize father’s voice right after the birth.  

Isn’t that amazing?

Of course your baby won’t understand a word you are saying in the beginning, but he will definitely get familiar with your voice tone. Try baby talk - short and simple words or imitate the noises your baby makes.

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3. HOLD.

Going for a family walk? Volunteer to carry a baby in a carrier. Babywearing is very beneficial for both: a child and a parent (this case - father).

Skin-to-skin contact is also very important to paternal bonding. Have your newborn lay on your naked chest while you rock in a chair.

"My husband had his strong bonding moments when our daughter fell asleep on his chest numerous times.”

4. Bath.

Taking a bath together with your baby might seem scary because of all that slippery skin and baby fussiness, but with the little mommy help you guys off to fun bath times!

5. Don’t give up.

Even if a baby screams non-stop and his diaper changing situation is turning into a bomb explosion - you can still do it. Baby needs to trust that you can help him in all situations.  Practice and practice. The more you change that diaper - the better you will get.

6. Be a good partner to your spouse.

Happy wife - happy life. Try to give her breaks as much as possible, be sensitive and caring.

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Paternal Bond is important

We know that mother-child bond is very important but what about father-child bond?

Well, researchers stated that there is a need for a bond to develop between the father and child also. And this bond must happen from the very beginning to ensure normal growth and development of the newborn child daddy-baby bonding is very important.

The research also suggests that the sooner fathers starting bonding with their baby, the brighter the future for the whole family.

The Benefits of Paternal Bond:

  • increases child’s physical and mental development greatly
  • reduces stress for fathers and babies
  • helps children to be more successful academically
  • reduces drug and alcohol use as well as involvement with crime
  • makes child more social and psychologically stronger.

A father who is bonding with his child shows deep commitment to his family, therefore the relationship between partners gains more trust, becomes deeper and jumps to a whole new level - a parenting level.

Tip for mothers

Father-child bonding should start as soon as you realize your are expecting.

Try to involve him during the entire pregnancy:

  • go to doctor's appointments (especially ultrasound ones),
  • explore together birth options,
  • decide on parenting style,
  • pick a name together,
  • talk daily about baby movements you feel

Make sure he doesn't feel left out!

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  The Chemistry of Father - Newborn Bonding

You think only women have hormones during pregnancy and after birth? Well, here are some news, for you guys too.

According to the study, fathers experience an increase in their levels of these hormones.

Male HormonesThe affect on fatherhood
Cortisol Hormone Almost doubles for men at the end of their partner's’ pregnancy. Higher cortisol levels in men help new fathers to be more focused and attached to their newborns.
Prolactin HormonePromotes bonding/attachment and caring. The higher the prolactin, the more dads will help their babies explore and play.
Oxytocin hormone Increases through skin to skin contact. It jump-starts father’s nurturing instincts.
Vasopressin hormoneCauses a man to want to protect his family and be at home rather than miss the days of a single guy. Vasopressin is also known as the monogamy hormone; that enhances commitment.

Study also found that father's testosterone levels decrease by one-third immediately after they become fathers, providing a calming effect that may make them less likely to stray from home.

So it is natural that during women’s pregnancy her partner losses little bit of his strong male attitude and gains more nurturing nature which of course helps a lot for paternal bond process.

So according to the science a father who is involved closely during pregnancy, birth and early infancy will be helped my Mother Nature and its hormones to become sensitive and protective father that not only child and mother will benefit but also the whole society.

This father transformation is one of the most difficult but the most rewarding challenges a man will ever experience. So be confident, get support and feel safe to experience successful paternal bond. 

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