Feeding Your Baby: A Dads Guide

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Bringing your new baby home is one of the most exciting times of your life. It is impossible to understand the sheer joy until you actually have one of your own. Through crying and sleepless nights you still end up cherishing every moment. Dads, however, sometimes end up in the background when it comes to feeding. After all, nature designed mothers to take care of this task. It is important, though, that you learn to handle the task. You never known when mom might not be feeling well, need to go out, or simply need a break.

Double Bracket: Mood swings are a completely normal part of pregnancy, however if you have a history of anxiety or depression keep an eye on them and consult your doctor if you feel too overwhelmed.

Don’t be discouraged

Dad’s often back away from feeding without even giving it a try, once they see the bond between mom and baby, especially if the baby is breastfed. There is no reason to feel intimidated by feeding time. Even mothers have to establish a routine with the baby. Your little angel might fuss a little at first, or maybe even refuse to eat.  Do not give up, even the difficult parts of parenting contribute to bonding with your child.The earlier you start to help with feedings the easier it will be. Plan to take over at least one feeding a day from the time your baby arrives.  

Prepare ahead of time

You may very well wake up one morning to a mommy coughing and sneezing that ends up bedridden with the flu. This is not the time to learn how to feed your baby. You do not want two miserable individuals in the house. If you have other children, it is pertinent that you are able to feed your baby, as you never know when you might have to multi-task. If your baby is formula fed, they will be used to the bottle already. Make sure you are an expert at mixing and warming formula, and keep plenty of sanitized bottles on hand. For formula and breastfed babies alike, you can sit with mom during feedings so the baby gets used to you being around during mealtime. 

For breastfed babies, daddy feedings may take a little more effort. Before the baby is even born, invest in a good breast pump is a great idea. The mother should start pumping as soon as possible once the baby is born. This will ensure a good milk supply in the freezer for anytime that dad needs to help with feeding. Breastfed babies may resist a bottle, as they are not used to the feel of the imitation nipple. You may need to purchase a few different types of bottles to see which one your baby will drink from. Start introducing the baby to breast milk in a bottle soon after a good breastfeeding routine is established. This way, if an emergency arises, you are ready to help feed.

Hold your baby close!

The more you hold your baby the easier all tasks will become. Your child needs to know everything about how you smell, sound and feel. Hold your sweet little one as often as you can. Talk and sing to your baby as well. Feeding will come much more naturally the more you are involved with everything else. 

No matter how your family chooses to feed the baby, dads can be involved. Even if the decision has been made to let mom handle the feedings, dads need to be prepared. Life can throw some obstacles out there and mothers sometimes cannot feed. Baby and dad alike will be less stressed if dad can feed to.  In modern times, fathers are much more involved with the early lives of their children. Feeding is another great bonding experience. 


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