When your bundle of joy arrives, usually, the focus is on Mum and the new baby’s bond, which makes total sense! Science shows that a strong bond between a mother and child boasts lots of benefits, like increased immunity.

But what about dads? Even though there’s less emphasis on this relationship in the early days of a little one’s life, that doesn’t make it any less important. And there are a few easy ways to strengthen this special father-child relationship from day one. Here are 6 simple dad-baby bonding activities to try.

Learn the 5 S’s

By learning the 5 S’s—the key to the calming reflex—you can become the master of soothing your baby. The 5 S’s are an on switch for calming and an off switch for crying. Some babies need all 5 S’s (swaddling, side or stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking) to really settle, and some just need a few to quiet them down. As a new dad, you can help your baby to be the calmest baby on the block. That will lead to some awesome bonding time and give Mum a well-needed break. Bonus: Dads tend to be amazing baby-calmers!

Skin-to-Skin Contact

We know that skin-to-skin contact is a helpful bonding tool between Mum and baby, as it prompts the body to release hormones that relieve stress. Did you know the same thing happens when Dad has skin-to-skin contact with his little one? This is a great way to strengthen Dad’s bond, and it even results in less crying! Talk about a win-win.


You know how aah-mazing you feel after a massage? Well, babies love them, too! Give your little one a massage after bath time or before bedtime. Learn tips and tricks here.

Take a Walk

Hit the road with your baby in tow. Bonus points if you use a baby carrier so they’re right on your chest! They’ll enjoy the sights and sounds and being nice and close to you (and Mum probably won’t mind the extra time to herself either).

Become a Nappy Dad

Take over nappy duty. If Mum chooses to breastfeed, you can’t step in there, but you can make nappies your domain. If this doesn’t sound like a bonding activity, think twice. You can tickle, play peek-a-boo, and sing to your little one as you change them.

Just Hang Out

Place your baby on your lap and spend time looking into each other’s eyes, giggling, and cooing. This time is so fleeting and precious. Before you know it, you’ll blink and that baby on your lap will be talking and walking…and on their way to kindergarten! By taking a few minutes just to enjoy these short-lived baby days, you’ll make memories that will last forever.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.