How Can My Partner Bond With Our Nursing Baby?
This question is common, especially among first-time parents, especially if they are nursing. If you have chosen to exclusively nurse, you may find yourself facing this question from acquaintances that are less supportive of your choice. Like any other situation, knowledge is power. If you and your partner can create a game plan, you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan and less likely to have anyone feeling left out or overwhelmed. Common ways for the non-breastfeeding parent to bond with the nursing baby are:
1. Babywearing. Find a local babywearing group if you’re new to the concept. It seems complicated at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably wonder how you ever managed before. Your baby may stay calm longer when being worn compared to being in a crib or a swing, making it so your partner can give you a much needed break to catch a nap, shower, or hot meal and recharge yourself. Older siblings, grandparents, and other family members can also participate in this option if you wish – just make sure to always follow the safety basics of babywearing!
2. Room-Sharing. Be sure to follow all safety precautions to ensure your baby’s safety. However, when performed safely, parents who sleep in the same room with their babies tend to report a heightened sense of bonding with their baby.
3. Skin-to-skin contact. Skin to skin contact is very important for infant comforting and development, and can enhance bonding between the baby and their parents.
4. Bottle-feeding. Never let anyone pressure you into this – if you are not comfortable with this arrangement for any reason, remember there are plenty of other ways for your partner to bond. However, if you respond well to pumping and you and your partner decide that this is a good option for your family, by all means – now you can alternate feedings and get some more much needed sleep! This option is also great for siblings, friends, and grandparents to bond with the baby.
5. Other care activities. Bathing, changing, rocking to sleep, burping, comforting, reading stories, and watching movies are all activities that can allow your partner and other family members to bond with your baby.