Having a new baby can be overwhelming, but don’t forget to take the time to bond with your little one too. Here are five tips for dads who want to establish a close relationship with their babies:

Get involved in the diapering process.

Sure, diaper changes can be smelly and messy, but it’s also a great opportunity for Dad to bond with Baby. Take turns with Mom and both of you can talk or sing to your baby while changing diapers, and having special bonding time each day will help build a strong relationship between Dad and Baby.

Schedule time for skin-to-skin contact.

Babies thrive on the connection and comfort they get from their parents, so take advantage of skin-to-skin contact with Baby whenever you can. Spend a few minutes every day cuddling with your baby and taking in the newness of parenthood. Show your baby that you care through quality time and special moments of closeness.

Make every meal a chance to bond.

Mealtime is a great opportunity for Dad to get involved in the feeding process and build his relationship with Baby. Even if Mom is breastfeeding, you can still help out by preparing bottles or burping your baby between feedings. Take the time to talk to your baby and coordinate mealtime songs or nursery rhymes.

Be a part of the bedtime routine.

Establishing an effective bedtime routine will help ensure that Baby gets enough sleep each night, while also providing you with the opportunity to bond with Baby in a calm environment. Read stories together, sing lullabies, and talk about your day. Establishing a regular nighttime routine with Baby will help provide them with comfort, security, and stability. Making sure Baby is comfortable and safe for sleep is important.

Take advantage of nap time.

When your baby naps during the day, Dad can get some much-needed rest as well – but don’t just use nap time for catching up on sleep! Take advantage of this special time to bond with your baby. Talk to them or snuggle together for a few minutes – these moments can make an impact and help build the relationship between Dad and Baby.

There are many ways for dads to bond with their babies and nurture the connection between them. Taking the time to connect physically, verbally, and emotionally can help not only strengthen the relationship between Dad and Baby, but also lead to a more peaceful and enjoyable household.