Rise, Dad-to-Dad :: Baby Bonding #1, 2 & 3

Rise, Dad-to-Dad :: Baby Bonding #1, 2 & 3

These first twelve months…the baby doesn’t seem to need us, and certainly doesn’t always respond to our cues. We - the dads- are pretty much on our own while Mom is pulling off the giant feat of healing herself on countless levels, feeding, sleeping, transitioning into her new expression as a badass AND blooming into the brilliant mother of this latest member of the future of humanity. And we are left twiddling our thumbs, wondering how to trigger that very useful cause-&-effect motivation that gets us up and helpful without needing a steady stream of feedback from our kids and partners. We have some ideas - not as powerful as mama-hormones, but it DOES get us up at night, and creates something hugely more rewarding than “Hero Points:” deep, unbreakable love. To start:

1 Tell First Stories. Make a little diddy (or steal an 8-count from a favorite tune) & use it to narrate your time together. It seems cheesy - “We’re changing your diaper, We’re changing your diaper, 1-2-3, We’re changing your diaper!” or “We’re smelling the flowers, We’re smelling the flowers, 1-2-3, We’re smelling the flowers!” But watch what happens when baby starts anticipating your next move, clearly getting the game, & soon - singing along with you. Yup. You’re baby’s first teacher. #gratification

2 Create a Micro-Tradition. Make a big deal out of something small, but new to baby. In our house, we have a long, green glass cylinder hanging in the landing between the stairs. As we head up I say, “The Big….Green…LIGHT!” It’s silly and sweet, and now our older boys do it with baby #4, who bursts into peals of joyful laughter - pretty much every time we go up or down the stairs. What’s in your house, that can be your thing, that you do with baby?

3 Deliver the Goods. Get a nice essential oil just for calming babies (we love Lotus Wei Flower Essences & Organic Lifestyle), and give a daily mini-massage for 5-10 minutes. When you have time, you can do the whole, long after-bath thing, but when you don’t, just pull out the oil & rub it on your hands & bring it to baby’s nose, then rub it into her chest, lower back, feet, hands and behind the ears. Feel baby’s nervous system calm & ground.

More coming. :)