Bonding with your newborn will come differently to each parent, regardless of whether they are an introvert or extrovert. Your partner will likely already be very bonded with the baby after having felt every kick, turn and squirm for the duration of the pregnancy.

Even if you’ve been able to share in some of these moments yourself, it’s a whole different ball game when you can hold your little one in your arms. Here’s some tips for the first few hours:

Take Some Time
Discuss with your partner before delivery about who will be present at the hospital. It’s nice to have labour to yourselves and allow time after delivery to sit and enjoy your new family. My wife and I were alone for hours and only called our parents very briefly to tell them the good news and send a picture. We waited to tell our friends and Facebook until much later in the day so we were left alone to take it all in.

Give Mum Her Space
Your partner will also be exhausted after delivery and will need time to sleep. Your baby will have it’s first feeds and nappy changes in the hospital to ensure that baby is healthy and you can use this time to either sleep yourself, or process your thoughts. As an introvert, I read a book on my iPad and just watched the two of them sleep for a while. This time that your partner needs is a perfect chance for you to take stock and take initiative with your baby.

Feeding
Another big decision you’ll have to reach is whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed your newborn. We opted for the bottle and I’m so thankful of that. I love the time alone I get everyday with my son feeding him. I can whisper my thoughts and hold him in close. We bonded very quickly as I became a caregiver from the start. Even now, it’s nice when we have company to go off and feed alone for a few minutes to recharge.

Stormtrooper Dad
photo credit: valiant aja via photopin

Try not to worry too much about bonding. We all have doubts from time to time about whether our child will love us or whether we’ll be capable to meet their needs. But it really does come very naturally. Even if you’ve had terrible experiences with babies crying at you, this one is different. It’s a part of you. It’s the beautiful by-product of you and your partner and before long, you’ll see those little eyes looking up and recognising you for all you do.