While the baby topics I’ve covered thus far on this blog mostly pertain to mom and dad, they’re always mom-leaning. So I feel it’s important to concentrate on just dad once in a while. I did this in The Baby Nurse Bible with the “Checking in with Dad” sections and would like to add it as a theme here as well. I’ll start with another excerpt from the book:
Q. My three-month-old baby is definitely getting more interative with me, but I still feel like there’s not much we can do together. What kidns of things should we be doing at this stage?
A. Don’t stress about what you “should” and shouldn’t be doing. The absolute most important thing in your baby’s life irght now is building solid relationships with his parents through communication, interaction, and affection. As long as you provide these things, your baby will be on track developmentally and having lots of fun in the meantime! Here are a few simple ideas:
- Dress your baby in weather-appropriate clothing and go out for a walk. (You can do this in your own yard or head down the street, whatever works for you.) If possible, cary him in your arms or in a baby carrier. Especially if he is used to being carried primarily by another caregiver, it will be good for you two to have that closeness while he explores his environment. Describe various things you might see as you walk around–a red car, tall green trees, or white snow. Describe sounds he might hear–the birds chirping, a bus going by, or the wind blowing. You may think he won’t understand you, but all of these interactions and associations will settle into his brain, and before you know it, you’ll be shocked by all he does understand.
- Continue to read, read, read. Take the time to sit your baby on your lap as often as you can and read books. While it’s good to have a few age-appropriate simple books to go through, there’s nothing wrong with reading a few longer stories with big illustrations if your baby will sit through them happily. The sound of your voice will sooth him and he will get used to listening and paying attention, and will also continue to make valuable associations as you point to things in the book. Just be sure to read fairly slowly so he can hear each word clearly.
- Dance and sing with your baby. Put together a playlist of your favorite songs (nothing too harsh, of course) and designate it you and your baby’s soundtrack. Every night when you get home, take your baby in your arms, put on your soundtrack, and dance and sing along. Your baby will love the closeness, the swaying motion, and hearing the different songs. He’ll also learn to recognize this time as part of his routine, and will really look forward to it.