The most important thing the father can do is simply spend time with the newborn. The father-infant bonding is invaluable. Along with time, the father will need to allow some learning, experimentation and mutual tolerance.
Infants are drawn to human face in general and eye contact in particular. So, one of the first things the new dad can do is to remember to smile, stay close and look the baby in the eye.
They are also fond of motion. Babies love to be held, cuddled, bounced and jiggled. Movement helps infants develop everything from their brains to their sense of balance. Fathers should not be afraid to hold their baby. This gives the child a feeling of security. This may take a while, but once the father knows what movement the baby likes, he can sway and bounce the little one.
Pa-pa, ma-ma, ba-ba are the first and most common sounds infants make. The more the child hears these words, the faster he/she will imitate. To strengthen the connection between the father and the infant, when he hears the baby making the sound, the father can make it back.
Fathers can learn the art of diapering and treat it as a shared duty with mom. This will make the bond between the couple stronger, better and more long-lasting.
It helps to be responsive to the infant’s cry, a look or anything the little one does to make a connection with the parent. It helps the child develop better communication and language skill. It helps them know that the parent appreciates the effort.
Mothers are hardwired to love and care for the baby. No one can argue against the fact that mothers have more of this than fathers, but what fathers may not have instinctually they can easily develop. This means that after a while both the father and the baby become attuned to the presence of the other. A cuddle from the Dad can be as warm and soothing as that from the Mom. And that is the kind of harmony that lasts a lifetime.