5 ways to involve the dad in the baby chores

brought to you byAesha Shah

The day couples embark on a new and significant journey of parenthood, the biggest challenge faced by them is that of promoting healthy growth and development of the baby. And if the entire onus of this responsibility is on the mother, it becomes a very stressful period for the mother which then is shifted onto the child. Thus inclusive parenting is very critical for the baby's healthy growth and development.

Parenting wherein both parents have an equal role to play impacts all areas of a baby's early development. The social, emotional and cognitive development of the baby depends on the relationships that the parents establish with them since their birth. The importance of touch and a nurturing environment is equally imperative for the holistic development of the child. It has also been observed that children have fewer behavioral problems when a father has been actively involved in the parenting journey.

So after reading a lot of books on parenting during my days of pregnancy and after delivery, I always wanted that both me and my husband should be cautious of the fact that our daughter needs us both and we are both actively involved in all the baby chores.

As a mother I definitely was more connected with my daughter than my husband as physically I had experienced her every movement and could feel her presence. It was the first time for me,so I was jittery and sometimes paranoid too when it came to daily chores like feeding and diapering. I had started using Pampers diapers for my daughter since she was one month old, so the cleaning part surely was easier, but the feeding did take a toll on me. Here my husband's continuous emotional support helped me deal with the changes.

However, in India mostly the grandmothers play a more active role in baby chores as compared to the father so initially it never came up to him to help me with it. The daily chores were generally handled by me or the grandmothers. I am sure it was not that he never wanted to be part of it, he always wished he could help me with the daily baby chores but he didn't know how. Even a survey conducted by Neilson in association with Pampers for their campaign #ItTakes2' shows that 83% dads wish to be more involved in baby care but they don't know how to be a part of it.

Learning from my experience, I would like to list few ideas to involve the father more in the baby chores:

1.Let the father take up night responsibility: My husband was always there for our daughter during the nights when she wouldn't sleep initially for the first 6 months. After a long day at work too, he would sit with her on the swing to put her to sleep. This also gave him alone time with my daughter, so fathers can take up the night responsibility to develop a bond with the child.

2.Special playtime with dad: Dad's should decide on a special play time with the baby. It should involve more cuddling, singing to the baby or just whispering sweet nothings in the baby's ear.

3.Take baby for a walk/ride: Make a routine to take the baby for a walk daily.By doing this, you will spend more time with the baby and the baby will also look forward to the time he spends with you.

 4.Diaper duty for dads: Yes, you have read that right! Take it up, it's not rocket science. It is not a clean job, but after a while you will get used to it. According to a survey, 88% moms believe that husbands hesitate to take up diaper duty. With Pampers it's easy, so take it up, prove the moms wrong.

5.Give baby a massage: In India the job of giving a massage is primarily of a skilled maid or in her absence, the grandmother or the mother. However, fathers should give the baby a massage once in-a-while. If you are not sure about how you can manage, you can do it in the presence of the mother. But give it a try. The baby needs to be familiar with the dad's touch too.

I would also like to share from my personal experience that I usually didn't trust my husband and was always unsure how he would be able to manage the baby chores. So my suggestion to new parents would be to just go easy. We can make mistakes; it's ok to make mistakes. As mothers we need to trust the father more, help him get involved in the daily baby chores. The touch of the father is very important for the babies too. The baby already has an emotional bond with the mother and recognizes her touch as a baby's instinct but for fathers in order to develop the same bond need to be more actively involved in parenting.

Lastly, I feel it would be a great help to first time parents if we could develop content on how important inclusive parenting is, providing effective solutions, measures and tips. Expert opinions and more reliable and relevant digital content is the need of the hour as more and more parents are turning to the internet for solutions.  



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