There is a lot of "Mommy Time" at the beginning. We encourage you to hold your baby skin to skin until after the first feed, to breastfeed on demand, and for them to sleep next to your side of the bed. It starts to feel like a one-person show. And it sounds EXHAUSTING!
You may be planning to use a bottle some of the time so your partner can bond with baby and give you some rest. The issue with this is, in the early breastfeeding days, missing out on a feeding session can impact your milk supply and can make it difficult for you and baby to create a solid nursing routine.
It is so important for your partner to bond with your baby. We tend to go straight to feeding as the way to do this, primarily because, in American culture, feeding and food is a huge part of how we connect with one another. But there are so many other ways that your partner can bond with their baby so that it doesn't sacrifice early breastfeeding.
I encourage you to let your partner pick out one or two things that they really want to do with their baby on a regular basis and then for you to get out of the way! Moms tend to have a sixth sense about how to care for their babies and sometimes it takes the partner a little time to catch on. To bond, your partner needs confidence. By them taking on a routine task and you getting out of the way, they can accomplish both things - confidence building and bonding.
Here are some ideas for how what your partner can do to build a closer relationship with their baby and give you some rest!
- A daily walk
- Wearing baby after work for an hour and doing some dancing or house exploring
- Getting baby dressed and ready for the day
- Burping baby and settling baby after a feeding
- Tummy time or play time after work
- Reading baby their bedtime story
- Singing baby their lullabies