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Dads of newborns often feel left behind. During the first six months of a baby's life, the baby seems to be part of the mother in much the same way as he was during pregnancy. What can you do to bond with your baby during these early months?

Spend one on one time with your baby

From the moment that baby is born, he or she wants mom. They know her smell and her voice. They also got used to your voice over the course of the pregnancy. Mom may be the preferred caregiver during the baby's first months and perhaps the first year of life, but you are certainly in the picture. Spending one-on-one time with your baby is the best way to bond with your baby. I am not suggesting that your partner goes on a lunch date with her friends for hours, without bringing the baby. If your baby is breastfed, he or she will still need her mom at completely unpredictable intervals.

Nature is something that we try hard to "overcome" these days, but should we? You can still take your baby for walks around the block, on a quick trip to the store in a baby carrier, or rock him to sleep when your partner takes a bath. There will be plenty of one-on-one time to spend with your baby later on in life, but there is no reason to delay it. Newborns can and do attach to both parents, unless they are hungry and nursing. You can slowly build up the time to spend with your baby, and work out a plan that suits everyone in your family.

Rock your baby to sleep

Newborns wake up through the night, and that is something you will not be able to change any time soon. Sometimes a newborn who wakes up is hungry, but other times the baby would just prefer some company, a diaper change, or being rocked to sleep. Mom has already had plenty of opportunity to get exhausted. Feel free to "dance the night away" with your little one, and you will find a more rested mom and possibly a less cranky baby in the morning.

You will also have a great chance to bond with your tiny baby. Finally looking at that little, sleeping face after a few hours will really make you feel like you have accomplished a great thing. If your baby is formula fed, you can play an even greater role in the baby's life and get up and make that bottle. Getting up through the night may be exhausting, but it will also give you the satisfaction of knowing that you can do this baby thing all by yourself!

Give your baby a bath

Babies can enjoy having a bath as soon as they are born, and this is certainly something they can do with daddy! Make sure that the water is neither too hot nor too cold by feeling with your elbow, or using a bath thermometer. You can use a baby bath, tummy tub, the normal bath and your strong arms, or even the sink when your baby is really tiny. Newborns don't get so dirty they can't play in the mud or get paint all over themselves but a baby bath can be a real pleasure.

Snooze next to your baby

Newborns will not sleep for long stretches, and will nap during the day until they are... basically a few years old. The thing is, a great many small babies will wake up easily unless they have a parent sleeping next to them. Why not snooze on your bed with your baby, while you read a good book or browse the internet? Your baby will get comfort from the very fact that you are next to him, and you can enjoy this time simply smelling your baby and looking at the sweetness of that innocent little being.

Play games with your baby

One of the most fun baby milestones happens at about six weeks: your newborn will start smiling. You may not be able to chase each other around the house or play soccer yet, but it is not too early for games. Research shows that even very new babies love looking at people (especially parents) pulling funny faces. Small babies also enjoy looking at rapid movement. You can play peek-a-boo, run back and forth, or just pull those weird faces.

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