Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

New Dads: How to Bond With Your Baby

Build a strong connection with your newborn before the arrival and in those early days of parenthood.

Worry Less continued...

"It's not a competition," Caroline DiBattisto, assistant professor of pediatrics at Georgia Health Sciences University, says. "Parents should support each other and work together as a team. It's important for dads to relax, be themselves, help Mom out, spend time with the baby, and enjoy this special time."

Pitching in will give you confidence as a new parent.

"I think a lot of dads feel nervous that babies are fragile and they're somehow going to do something wrong. But I promise they won't," Borman-Shoap says. "Don't worry about being perfect. The worst thing that happens if you change a diaper wrong is someone gets poop or pee on them. You wash it off, try again, and laugh about it. You need to get right in there and try it."

If your newborn was adopted or carried by a surrogate, you may feel that you should do something extra to encourage the bonding process. But this isn't necessary. "Children respond to comfort, to being loved," Diamond says. "They feel it. They sense it."

Get in Touch

During the first days and weeks of your baby's life, the power of touch can bring you closer. Hold your baby whenever possible. Stroke her back. Rock her gently in your arms. "Bonding has as much to do with contact as involvement," Hill says. "If you're in contact with your baby, the bond will occur."

Many hospitals encourage kangaroo care: placing your baby, wearing only a diaper, against your bare chest. "Lying skin to skin with your baby is great for moms and dads to do," Borman-Shoap says. "Babies are comforted by the up-and-down movement of your chest when you're breathing. They hear your heartbeat, and it helps them keep their body temperature regulated, especially for tiny babies in the NICU."

Wear Many Hats

Is your partner breastfeeding the baby? Obviously, you can't pinch hit there. But you can nourish your baby in other ways.

"Feeding is an important part of taking care of a baby, but it's not the only thing," DiBattisto says. "Dads can help with bathing, dressing, and changing diapers. They can read to, snuggle with, and hold their children. Dads can also pick up and bring the baby to Mom for feedings, which would be much appreciated in the middle of the night, then take the baby back for burping."

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow