When you are an expectant mom, your whole world revolves around your pregnancy. You are tuned in to every move your baby makes and probably spend hours daydreaming about what life with your baby will be like after he or she arrives.
For expectant fathers, it can be a different story. Dads-to-be often have a hard time connecting with your pregnancy because they can’t experience it physically and they have not yet had to make any major lifestyle adjustments.
In fact, many dads don’t feel that intense connection until after the baby has arrived.
However, studies show that involvement of a father during pregnancy is important to the well-being of you and your baby. A study conducted by the University of Rochester found that a father’s involvement in pregnancy can have a positive impact on fetal development, birth outcomes and maternal stress.
Further, the study showed that the risks of preterm birth and low birth weight are lower when fathers-to-be are tuned in to your pregnancy.
Although there are many reasons why expectant fathers can seem detached during pregnancy, there are quite a few things you can do to help.
Here are 10 creative ways to encourage your partner get involved and begin bonding with your baby before birth:
1. Let him listen at home
One of the best ways to encourage expectant fathers to get involved is to give them opportunities to see and/or hear their baby.
However, busy dads-to-be may have a hard time attending all your prenatal appointments—and, even if they can make it, they only get a few seconds to hear those precious heartbeats.
The Fetal Heart Monitor by 1790 is an affordable way to foster the dad-baby connection. The monitor uses safe ultrasound Doppler technology to allow your partner to hear your baby’s heartbeat conveniently and easily from the comfort of your home.
2. Give him jobs (that he actually likes)
Getting ready for the arrival of a baby is a lot of work, so you need all the help you can get. Assigning preparation tasks to your partner is one way to get them involved in the nesting process, but be careful to assign tasks that your partner actually will enjoy.
Have a partner who likes woodworking? Assign him the task of making a changing table, wooden toys or even a crib.
Does he enjoy sports? Ask him to pick out some team- or sports-themed baby paraphernalia.
If he’s a handyman, he might enjoy building shelves or painting. Maybe you could even get him to weigh in on decorating decisions or baby gear selections—after all, he’s going to end up hanging out in the nursery and carrying the diaper bag, too!
If your resident handyman is an adept of woodworking, you can put him in charge of building this beautiful changing table, this is one of many other woodworking plans you can choose from Ana White’s website.
3. Celebrate Dad
Expectant moms usually get a baby shower, so it’s only fair that dads-to-be also get a chance to have some fun. Enlist the help of your partner’s closest friends to plan a special event for him.
Not only will this give him an opportunity to relax, but it will show him that your pregnancy isn’t all about you and make him feel included.
Get one of his best friends to help you with the planning of your husband’s very own baby shower. A golf outing, poker night, a fishing/hunting trip, or a backyard barbecue are all great options—no diaper cakes allowed!
4. Play the name game
Deciding on a name before the baby is born is a great way to help your partner to start viewing the baby as his son or daughter—not just a blob inside your belly.
Without overwhelming your partner, start having low-key conversations about your likes/dislikes regarding baby names early on. You might even ask your partner to make a list of his top names (and even some names he absolutely doesn’t like) to kick off some good discussion.
You can download our Free Baby Boy & Baby Girl Name Guide to help your partner kickstart his “favorite names” list!.
5. Take a class together
Taking a childbirth class is the norm (especially if you are first-time parents), but you should encourage your partner to join you for a baby-related class that is a little more fun.
Pregnancy massage, fitness classes or even a pregnancy cooking class (because you need tasty, healthy food when you are pregnant, right?) would be a welcome change of pace for him.
Involving your partner in a fun class will help you bond as a couple and arm him with information on how to help you stay healthy and comfortable during pregnancy.
6. Read together
There are no shortage of written words on the subject of pregnancy, for sure. But instead of trying to coax you partner to read a 25,000-word tome on diaper changing, tap into his sense of humor.
Bellow you can find a list of some Funny Pregnancy and Parenting Books for Dad that are sure to make him—and you—laugh.
|Be Prepared||Safe Baby Pregnancy Tips||The Dudes’ Guide to Pregnancy|
|Daddy Needs a Drink|| Pacify Me: A Handbook for the
Freaked-Out New Dad
| What to Expect When
Your Wife Is Expanding
And, there are no shortage of daddy blogs out there that take a close and comical look at what it is like to live with a pregnant woman.
7. Make music
Babies can hear sounds from outside the womb from about 16 weeks gestation. So, whether your partner is a musician or a music lover, have him get involved in playing some tunes for your baby.
Making a mix of favorite songs, playing an instrument or singing a lullaby are all great ways to expose your baby to music.
8. Look toward the future
Expectant fathers can sometimes have trouble visualizing what the future will look like with a new baby. Get him involved in your pregnancy by asking him to do something for your child’s future.
Your partner should choose something that is important to him, such as passing down a family heirloom, starting a savings account for college, buying a life insurance policy for himself or purchasing child-sized sporting equipment for future daddy/child outings.
9. Plan a baby-moon
If you think that your partner might be feeling insecure about the future of your relationship after your baby arrives, arranging for a special getaway for you and your partner could do wonders to calm his fears and get him involved in your pregnancy.
By spending some quality time together and giving your partner some TLC, you will make him feel more confident about your relationship—which might encourage him to take a greater interest in your expanding belly.
10. Let him take care of you
Allowing your partner to take care of you during your pregnancy seems like a no-brainer, but the problem is that your partner may not know exactly what to do to help you.
Giving your partner specific suggestions (in a nice way) about what he can do to lighten your load will not only be a relief to you, but it will be a relief to him, too. If he knows how to be helpful, he will be more inclined to be involved.