12 Tips And Tricks For Hands-on Partners
Tips and tricks from parents to parents.
Special tips for the hands-on partners.
Wear your baby
Slings and front packs enable you to give your baby the closeness she needs without always having your arms full. Babies are also usually content in front-facing carriers, which helps promote bonding.
This is magic! Hold your baby face down over one forearm with their cheek nestled against the soft underside of your forearm and your hand cupping them under the crotch. You can also rotate this position so that the baby’s crotch is at your elbow and your hand cradles their cheek.
Sing a song
Singing is one of the best ways to get a baby to respond and pay close attention to you. Hold them chest to chest, sway or bounce on a ball. What your sing doesn’t matter. Channel your inner diva from shower time and give your baby a gift of your voice.
There are many small things you can do to support your partner and breastfeed your baby. Make sure that water, snacks, pillows, and the phone are nearby. Consider changing the diaper or burping the baby between sides or feedings. Clean the plump equipment or bottles. Check in and ask if you missed anything.
Send your partner out and keep the baby
It’s hard for a non-lactating partner to work out their own style, especially when their lactating partner is around to swoop in. Start with short solo stints, like a nap just after the baby has been fed. Working your way up to a couple of hours.
Nighttime is your time
Tag team sleeping for your mental health. Maybe you are better at late nights, and your partner is better at early mornings. Keep the baby with you during your time and make that time a special time to get to your baby.
Find your way with some coping skills
Awesome new parent skills can include: bathtub, infant massage, cuddling, read a book with voices, and going out on an adventure. None of these require feeding! And face-to-face contact is critical for bonding.
Know-how and when to ask for help
Sometimes we need help. Even if you can’t ask for help you can accept help. If someone says, ‘Is there anything I can do?’, it’s OK to say ‘Yes!’ Talk with your partner about when you’ll accept help from. It might be as simple as asking someone to buy some milk, walking the dog, or carpooling so you can get in a nap.
Develop a thick skin
Everyone has their own way. What you and your partner do maybe be different or even different than how your parents did it. That is ok. Find your own way as individuals and as a team.
Babies have bad days too
Even if babies have bad days, your ability to cope with challenging moments is crucial to becoming a confident parent. The more time you spend with your baby the more confidence you will have in your ability.
Nurture your parent relationship
Having a new baby can put extra strain on your relationship. Check-in on one another. Communicating your needs, negotiating chores, and sharing expectations are critical for parenting at all levels.
When you are healthy and well-rested, you will be better able to take care of your family. It is ok to go to the gym and see friends as long as you carve out time for your partner to do the same. Don’t forget to schedule a couple times too, as your baby will eventually grow up and move out on their own.