Resources for New Moms
Caring for Your Baby as a Team
Parenting is about teamwork! Encourage dad to take an active role in helping your baby’s brain grow and baby’s health. Learn how to encourage your baby’s brain development together:
Build your baby’s brain together
When moms and dads respond to their baby in a warm way, bonding and attachment develop. You and dad fall in love with your baby as your baby falls in love with both of you. Babies with healthy attachments to their moms and dads become confident, active learners. This helps them do better when they grow and go to school.
Here are some tips:
- It’s never too early to read or talk about pictures in books to your baby. Reading to your baby every day has been shown to help your baby’s brain grow. This helps your baby develop in many ways. You are touching your baby, your baby is also hearing your voice, learning language, and watching pictures go by in a book. As your baby gets older let baby hold and grab books as you look at them together.
- Play with your baby. Moms and dads play with babies differently, which is great! These differences help baby learn in many ways. Some ideas:
- Play your favorite music for your baby.
- Take your baby for a walk outside and talk about what there is to see.
- Make funny faces—babies love faces, so see what faces mom or dad has that makes your baby smile.
- A coo with a smile is baby’s way of saying, “let’s play” or “keep playing with me” or “tell me more.” You can respond to baby’s coos by talking, touching, or making faces and see how baby reacts.
Parenting safely as a team
Make sure you both discuss the following safety items so you both know the safest ways to care for your baby.
- Safe sleep is on baby’s back. Always make sure baby sleeps on her back in a safe crib with nothing but a sheet. It is never safe to have baby sleep in the bed with you, even with pillows. For more info on safe sleep click here.
- Make sure to take baby to regular doctor visits and vaccinate on schedule. Work together to make sure your baby attends well-baby visits on schedule. It’s great if both parents can attend together, or try switching off so you and your partner can get a chance to connect with your baby’s’ provider. Baby will get vaccinations to protect baby from deadly diseases at some of the visits. For information on well-visits click here.
- Make baby’s home safe. Work together to make sure baby’s home is safe for baby. Click here for resources to read and share about dangers in your home and what you can both do to protect your baby.
- Make sure your car seat is safe. Baby must be in a car seat for every ride in a vehicle. To get more information about car seat safety and how to install car seats click here.
- If you or dad smoke, make sure to never do it near baby or where baby sleeps or plays.
- Take an infant first aid class together through your local hospital or Red Cross. You can even watch free videos online to learn how to perform infant CPR, the safest way to stop a baby from choking, and other basic baby first aid tips.