Bonding with your infant after your divorce

Even though a couple in Illinois is having a child together, they may still discover that they cannot make their relationship work. A new dad may feel like he will be at a disadvantage when it comes to developing a visitation schedule. However, studies show that he needs to have adequate parenting time to form an attachment with his baby, just as the mother does.

According to HelpGuide.org, successfully bonding with a caregiver provides an infant with the security needed for lifelong healthy development. Attachment involves an emotional relationship, but is not just about the love the father feels for the baby. Instead, it is developed as they respond through vocalization, touch and gestures and learn to read each other’s cues. Through this process, the child learns trust, self-confidence and socialization, which sets the stage for future emotional and personal development.

KidsHealth.org explains that there are certain activities the father should engage in to promote the bond with the infant. For example, because physical contact is an essential part of forming a father-child attachment, dressing, changing diapers and giving baths are all opportunities for dads to bond with their infants. A dad should encourage the baby to feel his face and hands to become familiar with him. Cradling, rocking and stroking are three ways that a new dad can soothe his child and promote a healthy attachment. Babies also bond through vocalization. Even though they are not able to make sense of the sounds, the cadences and tones of talking, reading and singing allow a child to learn the father’s voice. 

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