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Daddy Time

Babies need their dads. Consistent and positive care from fathers helps little ones do better emotionally, physically and cognitively. Later on , these kids tend to be more confident, and do better in school. It is normal for fathers (and mothers) to feel unsure of how to take care of their new babies. Here are a few tips to get started.

Listen to your baby

Your baby’s cries and coos are how she says I’m hungry, hurting, sleepy, lonely, soiled etc. By spending time caring for your baby, you will learn to respond to her needs quickly. Don’t worry, you can’t spoil a baby by responding too fast.

Gently hold you baby close

Babies love to be held, and feel most comforted when held close. Pick up your baby as much as possible, remembering to support the baby’s head to protect his growing brain. Holding your baby often helps him learn to feel safe with you.

Stay calm and relaxed around your baby

Even a baby can sense when her caregiver is stressed. Stress is bad for a baby’s brain development. You should never take your stress out on your child. Never shake a baby. Shaking a baby can cause brain damage, injuries, and even death.

Talk softly to your baby

Babies pay more attention to higher pitched voices. Narrate what you are doing when you are together and it will help her learn language.

Don’t worry about discipline at this point

Many  parents worry that responding to every cry will spoil a baby. Relax! The most important thing for your baby to learn at this age is that he can trust his caregivers to be there when he is cold, hungry, wet, or just bored. The self-discipline you teach your child late will be much more effective if you focus now on building a consistent, caring relationship.

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References

Guide for New Parents “Daddy Time” University of Georgia Extension. Daddy_Time.pdf