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The daddy way

Moms and dads may handle situations differently. And sometimes, it can be hard for Mom to let Dad have his time with baby in his way. But when she does, it can be great for everyone, especially the baby.
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Up in the air?

Dad’s lifting baby up toward the ceiling again. Your heart grips, but the baby’s gurgling happily away. You know it’s safe, but you still want to jump in. You’re not alone.

For lots of new moms, the feelings of love and protectiveness that you have for your baby can be truly overwhelming. Sometimes, when you see dad playing with the baby in a different way than you would, it can be hard to know the line between being overprotective and being just protective enough.

Fun sure. But safety first.

You do want to make sure anyone handling a baby under 4 months always keeps baby’s neck and head supported: no tossing in the air, shaking the baby’s shoulders, or putting her in a jumping gym or backpack carrier just yet. But baby can benefit from being exposed to lots of different styles. Different voices helps her learn language. Being held and carried by others will give her new perspectives on the world (and give mom’s arms a little rest, too).

Carrying the baby in a cradle hold, having tummy time on Dad’s chest or holding her draped over a forearm in a “football hold” with her head and neck supported are all safe and wonderful experiences dads and babies can share. Giving Dad his full share of baby-handling experience can help to strengthen his bond with the baby while boosting his fatherly confidence, too.

Go dad, go.

Letting baby have lots of dad time will enrich your baby’s repertoire of experiences, and who knows, Dad may even discover new soothing techniques or baby games that all three of you can enjoy.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Best Baby Gear. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

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