While moms are gifted with the ability to read baby’s cues, it doesn’t come as naturally and straightforward for dads. Tim and I had a conversation about this on our drive home the other day and I could see how proud he is for having familiarised himself with some of Jake’s cues.
Generally, up to when your baby is six months old, your baby would want to be close to you (both parents) all the time. Your baby is still adapting to the new world and finds comfort and safety being near his parents. This, as many of you already know, is a full-time job - so being able to quickly understand his cues can make things a lot easier.
Even if you can’t figure out what your baby wants when he cries or fusses, your baby will appreciate the fact that you are trying your best to comfort him.
Part of developing the ability to read cues involves dads and the little ones to be physically comfortable with one another. It takes a lot of practice and caregiving, such as cuddling, comforting, diaper changing, dressing and bathing.
It won’t be easy at first but the more you spend time with your baby, the more you will start to understand what he wants; his body language, his cries and coos in various situations.
Moms are biologically programmed to understand their babies much more than dads and are automatically expected to be ‘in charge’ of taking care of their babies. This means that dads (who aren’t biologically set to do so) will have to adapt and learn how to do parenting things - the more time spent together, the easier it will be to make sense of the baby's cues and signals.
It’s definitely an acquired skill that requires time and togetherness. For Tim, there were so many things that he did to help out with our little baby, which also allowed them some quality bonding time. He sang songs, he read books and told stories. He even helps put the baby to sleep by cradling the baby and letting the baby sleep on his arms.
It’s really good if dads can be part of the baby’s daily routine, like changing diapers or giving baths. This would encourage dads to bond and create an emotional connection, and soon, respond to a baby’s distress as quickly as the mom does!