This one is for you Dads: Father’s Day



Written in partnership with Heidi Skudder  

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we sat down with our ambassador and UK’s leading Parent and Baby Coach Heidi Skudder, to share her insight into the crucial role that Dad’s play despite the lack of attention and focus that they may get in those early weeks and months.  

When a mother gives birth, the focus is often fully on the baby as well as mum’s recovery and 

rightly so after such a long and exhausting pregnancy. The role of a father can be overlooked 

somewhat and in my experience as an infant sleep coach and night nanny, I know the 

crucial role that Dads play in caring for, supporting and just generally being around 

for both baby and mum in those early weeks and beyond. 


Share the Load 

Firstly, understanding the physical and emotional toll childbirth takes on a mother is key. 

Fathers can help by taking on more household responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning, or 

caring for other children in the home. This allows mothers the much-needed time to rest, 

recover, and bond with the newborn. That said, I am a huge advocate of also making sure that 

Dad gets his time with baby too. Whilst running around after other children or the house is the 

obvious priority for a new father, really bonding and getting to know baby should be on the top 

of everyone’s to do list – allowing dad to have some time out with baby undisturbed is always 

a good idea. 


Be active in baby care 

Taking part in baby care activities not only provides a little light relief to mothers but also helps 

fathers' bond with their babies too. Changing nappies, bathing, feeding (if using formula or 

pumped breast milk), or simply holding the baby to give mum a chance to shower or rest can 

make a significant difference. I always like to encourage that Dad is part of a breastfeed, even 

if not feeding baby himself. Winding baby between sides if breastfeeding or changing baby’s 

nappy are still crucial jobs for dad to be involved in, and I might argue that getting that wind 

up is almost as important as the milk itself! 


Read Up! 

My favourite phrase but always a good one… knowledge is power. Fathers who take the time 

to learn about postpartum topics such as breastfeeding, baby colic, development and so on, 

often feel much more in control of their postnatal experience than those that just rely on the 

mum to do all the reading. Whilst men are generally less emotional in this period, this can 

actually be used to an advantage when trying to make decisions on which car seat to go for, 

or perhaps how best to treat baby’s colic. I have been with many families where dad has been 

struggling, only for him to go and find the least leaky nappy brand, or best bottle that baby 

ends up taking… Dad’s love to have a place in the postpartum chaos so “doing” things often 

feels really good. 


Share Sleep 

In the early weeks and months if mum is breastfeeding, there might not be a huge role for dad 

to play in overnight feeds. However, there are still things that can be done (if it works), to help 

ease the load. As we have discussed, winding baby and doing nappy changes may allow mum 

to drift back off to sleep sooner, or perhaps as a family you decide to give a bottle in the night 

so that mum can catch up on rest. Whereas it used to be the case that most mothers 

automatically assumed the role of prime carer at nighttime, more and more dads are 

becoming involved in sharing the nighttime baby load… As always though, it is important to 

do what works for you and your family. 


Final Word 

As baby gets older, the postnatal period slowly starts to drift away and life returns to normal, 

here are some of my favourite activities that can be precious moments shared between Dad 

and baby… 

  1. Face to Face play – babies learn best from mimicking facial expressions and sounds 

that they hear. There is nothing more important for a baby’s learning than being able 

to see faces up close and this also doubles up as play and extra bonding too. 

  1. Share a bath together – skin to skin is so crucial for both the transfer of good bacteria 

to baby’s microbiome but also for bonding too. Doing skin to skin with baby, or taking 

a bath with them as they get older are both lovely ways of building a solid relationship 

between father and baby. 

  1. Explore nature – being outside is calming for both baby and our own nervous systems. 

Not only that but it gives mummy a bit of space (and peace!) to have a bath in peace. 

Investing in a good pram or sling that can be used by both parents is always a good 


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