A Dad’s Guide to Your New Baby You matter to your baby’s development because when dads and family men are involved your baby will: Grow up to be a more confident and secure child Be more sociable and will make friends more easily when they start nursery Have better behaviour in their teenage years Do well at school and achieve more That all sounds good doesn’t it? So here are some very simple and often free ways that you can get really involved in those busy months of your new baby: Support your baby’s mum to breastfeed – this is a great way to make sure your baby gets what he/she needs. Bathing and changing baby are great ways to bond – it is also an opportunity for important skin to skin contact. Use a carrier or sling and do your own thing! You will both enjoy the close contact and time with each other. Make sure you get ALL the paternity and maternity leave you are entitled to – Some employers offer additional paternity leave and you can also now share maternity with your partner. There are lots of things you can do together – Read a book, go for a walk and find out any local classes you can attend. There are often Dad focused baby classes at local community centres and Children’s centres. Babies learn through copying – So make funny faces and talk. Describe even the simplest of activities such as cleaning their nappy or preparing their lunch. Your baby will copy your mouth shapes long before their first word. Get the help you need and take care of yourself – GPs and health visitors are there to support you as well as mum. Children North East can help you too so please get in touch. If this advice page has helped you then please consider donating to Children North East to help other parents and their babies growing up in the north east.