You’re finally going to reach your goal of being a dad. You and your partner have suffered together through infertility or other obstacles to creating a family, but the day is here at last. Stuff’s about to get real. Soon you will have that tiny baby in your arms. Your first thought may be, “Now what?”
First, relax. If you have successfully navigated this challenging journey to parenthood, chances are you have the love and dedication it takes to be a great dad.
Here’s what you need to know to get your lifelong parent-child relationship off to the right start.
Take your paternity leave. Talk to your employer about what changes you need to make to cover your work, so you can relax and enjoy getting to know your little family. This will be a big adjustment for you and your partner. You won’t get much sleep, things will come up that you’re not expecting, and you’ll need to adjust to a new normal.
Wear your baby. Newborns want to be held closely to their parents’ body. Experiment with wraps and carriers until you find one that’s comfortable for you. If you and your partner are substantially different in size or the carrier is not easy to adjust, don’t hesitate to buy one for each of you. You can always pass it along to a friend when your baby outgrows it.
Wearing gives your baby the comfort of feeling the warmth of your body and hearing your heartbeat. It leaves your hands free so you can get things done. New babies can be overwhelming, and you can spend a lot of your time parked on the couch. Baby-wearing gives you a measure of freedom. It also allows you to get out and about without passing your baby around.
Make skin-to-skin contact. Bond with your newborn by looking them in the eye, hugging, touching, gently patting and with skin-to-skin contact. Many studies conducted have shown the importance of skin-to-skin contact (sometimes called kangaroo care) in forming attachments between parent and child. One study even found that skin-to-skin contact can play a role in stabilizing the blood-oxygen level, body temperature and breathing rate of neonates.
Trust your instincts. Chances are you’ll have ideas about bonding with your baby. Trust those instincts, and relax into fatherhood. It will be better for you and your baby. Carry the baby through your daily activities, talk to them about what you’re doing or park them on your lap while you watch a football game. You can read all the books, check out all the message boards, but it all comes down to what works with you and your family, so try to relax.
To learn more about becoming a dad through gestational surrogacy, read our previous blogs for intended parents. If you have any questions at all about the surrogacy journey or adjusting to your role as a new parent, contact the experts at Surrogate Solutions. We are here to walk you through every step.