Your guide to balancing baby duties with your partner
Just welcomed a new baby into your family – or will do soon? Here’s how to balance baby duties with your partner.
New mums have a biological advantage when it comes to being your baby’s primary caregiver: your little one is hardwired to turn to you for nourishment and comfort.
While this is an honour and a pleasure, it can also be overwhelming. This is why many new moms end up feeling exhausted and frustrated just shortly after giving birth.
But you don’t have to go through this experience without any support – you probably have your partner there with you too. Unfortunately, most women aren’t quite sure of how to make use of their spouse or partner during this period. As such, they end up shouldering all of the responsibilities by themselves.
However, if you want to learn how to balance baby duties with your partner, here is what you should know.
Get them involved at the very beginning
Most mums have a head start on the bonding process – you’ve been carrying them for months! Dads, however, haven’t really had a chance to interact with their baby. This is why it is important to ensure that dad and baby start bonding shortly after the baby is born.
This all begins with skin-to-skin contact. Research has shown that dads that engage in skin-to-skin contact with their little ones can help them both to bond with each other better. This, in turn, can have lifetime benefits for the child and father.
Plan for extended paternity leave
Most modern dads take paternity leave. They are able to help out mums and bond with their babies. However, government sanctioned paternity leave can be dismally short – just two weeks in some places! Needless to say, this isn’t a lot of time. And, when they go back to work, dads tend to miss out on some important milestones.
This is why you and your partner should plan for them to take additional week. The exact period they are able to take will depend on their job and the organization they work for. However, they should aim for around six weeks if possible.
For many families, this can create a bit of a financial issue. So, if you can, start making arrangements while you are still pregnant. Cut back on spending as much as you can and start saving. This way, you will have a fund to dip into if your partner needs to take unpaid leave.
Get them to help with feeding
If you want your partner to feel like a primary caregiver, they should have the chance to feed your baby as well. This also signals to your baby that they can rely on their dad for nourishment too. Once again, this will help the two to bond better.
Now, you will only be able to introduce your baby to a bottle when they are six weeks old. And, you may not want to switch over to formula. Well, there’s no reason for you to. Armed with the best breast pump, you can express milk and store it in a bottle. Then, your partner can give this to your baby at the necessary times.
Let them help you
Yes, this can often be the hardest things that moms will have to do – actually let their partner help them. It can be tempting to try and handle it all by yourself or tend to your baby without any assistance. After a while, though, this will wear you out.
Instead, take a step back every now and then and let your partner take over. Make sure to not constantly correct them or try to push your way back in. Rather, let them handle it in their own way.
These are the ways that you can balance your baby duties with your partner. Once you have mastered this, motherhood will be a lot easier for you to manage.
Photo by Mikael Stenberg