The first 1,000 days of every baby's life include many momentous #BabyFirsts, and it can inevitably feel like a lot of them are naturally more mum-centric. But of course the dad-baby bond is an incredibly precious one, and while most very young babies spend lots of time with mum, it's really important for dads to cuddle, cradle and care too.

Credit: Pampers

Credit: Pampers

If you're not quite sure how to start connecting with your newborn, you're not alone. While some parents begin bonding with their babies immediately, it's also extremely common for some parents (both mum and dad) to feel a little uncertain about how to start getting close to their baby. But bonding is really important - in fact, whatever the long-term effects may be, we know for sure that strong, healthy relationships will improve your baby's development by giving them a sense of security and self-esteem. What's more, you can start forming those bonds as soon as your baby is born. It's something you'll be able to do during the course of your daily routine. Here's how:

  • Hold them: You love your baby, and your baby will love being in your arms. New dads should carry their newborns, cradle them, and keep them close to their skin for skin-to-skin contact bonding.
  • Massage your baby: Simple massages can help your baby relax and fall asleep. The key is to massage very gently. You might like to go to an infant massage class at your local hospital.
  • Communicate: Your baby might not know what you're saying, but that doesn't mean she doesn't like hearing the sound of your voice. Whether you're reading, singing, or talking to your baby (or even mimicking those cute cooing noises), you'll stimulate their senses and create a stronger bond with one another.
  • Give them a bath: Bathing your newborn will help both of you relax after a busy day and get your baby ready for a restful night's sleep.
  • Keep your baby: When you want to be near your newborn but aren't actually able to hold them (perhaps you're typing or folding their clothes) you can put them in a sling instead. Putting your baby in a front carrier will help them feel cosy against your chest - just make sure their carrier offers good head and neck support.

New research conducted by NCT (the UK's largest parent charity) and supported by Pampers charts the experiences of first-time mothers and fathers through the first 1,000 days (from pregnancy to baby's 2nd birthday). To celebrate the study Pampers have created a film - A Newborn Journey of Firsts.

We hope this reminds all you fathers of your most memorable #BabyFirsts, and new dads of what's to come!

Paolo Haeusermann, Brand Manager for Pampers, Northern Europe says 'While the early years of parenthood are filled with many exciting milestone moments, they are also filled with new challenges that parents need to navigate. We were proud to support our long term partner, NCT, on this research

into The First 1,000 Days, and wanted to celebrate it by capturing what these extraordinarily ordinary moments mean for parents. Our captivating film, A Newborn Journey of Firsts, seeks to celebrate the moments that make every parents' journey so special, and we're excited that this research will further enable us to support parents, from the first scan, through to the first birthday, and onwards. Be sure to watch the Journey of Firsts film and use #BabyFirsts to join the conversation.'

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