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Building a Strong Dad-Baby Bond

Does your husband avoid spending time with your baby? Don't assume he's destined to become a do-nothing dad. He might just feel intimidated, watching you and your little one exchange coos and smiles and thinking he'll never match that natural mother-child intimacy.

True, your guy can't nurse your newborn. But he can connect with your child in his own ways -- and the earlier he forges that relationship, the better. So why not suggest that he...

...take the night shift.
When your baby starts fussing at 3 a.m., Daddy can turn those tears into tee-hees by singing or doing his dead-on Donald Duck imitation.

...go for a stroll.
To give his wife a break, on weekend mornings Jay Nickerson of Brooklyn would put 4-month-old Noah in his Baby Björn and walk around their local park. "Noah was delighted by all the dogs we saw," Nickerson says. "We'd also pick up leaves -- I have a whole collection that I'll give to him someday."

....get down and dirty.
Explain that changing a diaper is a great (okay, yucky, but great) way for your husband to bond with your little mess-maker. Encourage him to look directly into your baby's eyes and talk to him as he cleans him up.

...have fun!
Simply rolling a ball toward your baby, or shaking a rattle in his direction, can be surprisingly engaging -- for your child and for his dad, too.

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