I remember when my husband told me he was worried about bonding with our new baby in the way I would because of breastfeeding. Another dad told him that he felt “left-out” sometimes because of all the time and “togetherness” his wife had with their baby during feeding times. My husband decided then and there to make a conscious effort to bond with our child. As I reflect back on that conversation, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling because the relationship between my husband and my son Ev, now 16 months, is very special and really quite touching. They are kindred spirits and, because of that, I do believe that some of their relationship comes naturally. But I also think Craig has made an effort to form some of that bond.
I did breastfeed until Ev was a little over a year. My husband would come in and put Ev to sleep after I breastfed or do the diaper changes when he was an infant. As Ev got a little older, my husband would get on the floor and enjoy tummy time with him. That has evolved into tickling and even a little tumbling on the ground together. My husband can’t lay on the ground without Ev waddling over and sitting on his head or back or laying on him. My husband is constantly telling Ev he loves him and kisses him every time he holds him and is very affectionate.
What surprises me most about their relationship is how well my husband responds to Ev when he gets upset. Ev has entered the world of toddlerhood and therefore is showing some signs of a growing need to be independent. Ev wants what he wants to eat and wants to walk where he wants to walk and not ride in the stroller. He can be quite stubborn and can throw a mean fit. My husband is always very calm and understanding and handles these stressful situations almost better than I do.
I am very grateful that my husband has formed such a tight bond with Ev. It’s not as easy for a father and a child to bond. But regardless of whether it’s a dad, a mom or another caregiver, it just requires being intentional with a child and making an effort to form a strong relationship.