Babies are born ready to interact and depend on you to meet their needs. When your baby is born, your body will experience a physical change in hormone levels. Science tells us that this hormone change makes you more caring and able to cope with the demands of fatherhood.
Your baby’s movements and cries are their way of showing you that they need something. This could be a nappy change, that they are hungry, tired or want your love and attention.
It will take some time to get to know what your baby's body language, noises and cries mean – these are called cues. As you get to know them, you will recognise what they need. Your baby is likely to start smiling when they are around six weeks old.
Responding to your baby’s cues with your love, attention and support is a great start to their learning. These positive responses from you help with their brain development and emotional wellbeing. Your attention will give your baby the confidence and sense of security to explore the world around them. These positive early childhood experiences play a big part in how they form relationships later in life.
Studies show that children with positive male role models who play a part in their development will:
- Do better in school
- Have higher self-esteem
- Be less likely to experience poor mental health
- Have better social skills
- Have less behavioural problems
Who can help?
It is quite normal to feel nervous about bonding with your baby, especially if you are a first time parent and this is not something to be ashamed of. If you would like support, the following services are here to help:
- Children’s Public Health 0-19 Service
- Family Nurses
- Family Mentor
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