Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Father-to-be's Lullaby

My wife is due with our first baby in January. We are excited, to say the least.

NFI's president, Roland Warren, is fond of saying that, during the mom's pregnancy, "Fathers need to 'birth their child in their mind.'" While my wife goes through all of these dramatic physical changes and feels the baby move and kick, I have to find more creative ways to prepare for my baby's birth.

One method that I have found to be very helpful is to play music at night for the baby. The baby is at a stage of development where he/she can hear what is happening outside the womb. Our CD of choice has been an album that National Fatherhood Initiative recognized at the 2003 Fatherhood Awards Gala - Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby.

Brothers Dave and Jeff Koz created the album as a tribute to new dads and to give them a way to bond with their newborns - and help them sleep! Well, it has worked great for this father-to-be, as well.

NFI gave Dave and Jeff a Fatherhood Award for their work on this special album, and now it is helping me bond with my soon-to-be-born baby. If you have an infant or a pregnant wife, I highly recommend this CD!

Does anyone have ideas to share about bonding with your baby during pregnancy?


  1. Honestly, I think that for a dad, bonding with a baby during pregnancy is a tall order. As was my experience, and as Michael Lewis described in an NPR interview for his recent fatherhood book ("Home Game" -- my riff on it here: http://dadtoday.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-dad-falls-in-love.html), for most dads, the falling in love happens once you actually meet the little tykes - and even then not exactly a love at first sight, but a steady steady steady until all of a sudden you are ready to jump in front of a bus.

    As far as "birthing a child with your mind" - I don't know quite what that's supposed to mean. But for me, the most helpful thing I did preparing for our first (and STRESSED OUT!), was to call together a group of dads I love and admire one night well into my wife's eighth month. I fed them dinner and asked them all to feed me stories about becoming and being dads. Not tips. Not advice. Not tactics. Not lamaze class visualizations. Just stories -- the ones that began, "my wife's water broke, and then..."

    Listening to those stories was the only thing that (at last and just in time) put me into the dad head space, and gave me confidence I could do it.

  2. Stefan,
    Thanks for the thoughtful comment. As for the saying, "birthing your child in your mind," I think you actually hit it on the head yourself with the things you did to prepare (talking to a group of dads) for your baby's arrival.

    It simply means going through SOME emotional/mental process to prepare for the baby's arrival since dads can't go through it physically like moms can.



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