There’s much sense of awe and amazement each time we hear of a father having sleepless nights and taking care of his baby. Remember how we went gaga over Shahid Kapoor when he announced about being on diaper duty for his baby? Recently, Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant was deemed the “best babysitter” by Australian skipper Tim Paine’s wife Bonnie, so much so that even Amul featured him with the babies in their topical. Does it all inspire the same amount of admiration in the case of a mother?
Both parents are equally responsible for taking care of their child and it’s time we realise it. So, how do we get the father to take care of the newborn? Here are some ways to do so:
Involve the father in the pregnancy
This the first step towards ensuring that the father feels connected enough to the baby. The father needs to keep a track of the doctor’s appointments and accompany the mother for the same. Share ultrasound photographs with him. Make sure he is made aware of the challenges of pregnancy and takes good care of the mother.
Involve him in childbirth
Make sure the father is present in the hospital during childbirth. Let the father stay with the newborn, if the hospital allows, till it is time to take the baby home.
Seek his help
Guide the father through the process of taking care of the baby. He shouldn’t feel excluded in any way. Ask him to help with chores from time to time.
Take turns in caring for the baby
Mothers shouldn’t bear all the burden of taking care of the baby. Let the father also play some part in it. Put him on diaper duty. When the baby is breastfeeding, the father can provide the ancillary support. If the baby is drinking formula, the father can also take turns to feed him or her.
It is highly possible that first-time mothers and fathers might mistakes. Instead of criticising the father, appreciate him for his efforts. Tell him what to do but don’t hover over him.
Let him play with the baby more
Encourage the father to spend more time with the baby. Let him hold the baby close and play with him or her. He can sing a lullaby to the baby or give him or her a bath. This will further strengthen the bond between the two.