Do Fathers need to Bottlefeed to Bond with their Babies?

“I want the baby to take a bottle so his dad can feed him and start to bond.”

This is SUCH a strongly perpetuated myth, so many mothers express or give a bottle of formula so that their partners “can feed the baby and bond a bit”, but really, it is totally unecessary, there are so many wonderful ways for partners to bond, including:



Nothing is more amazing for a father to hold their baby close to their chest, facing inwards naturally, nuzzling their head and talking softly to their infant as the hold them, arms free to carry on with their day. This is bonding at its best!

dad babywearing baby bonding
Image copyright Moby Wrap

Skin to Skin

Naked cuddles are amazing, they generate the release of Oxytocin (the love hormone) in both father and child who get to know each other through touch and smell as well as sight.

dad skin to skin bonding baby


Sharing a bath with a baby is such a special experience, it is skin to skin and then some! holding your baby in warm water, chest to chest and watching how much your baby enjoys the experience is one of the best parts of being a new parent.

dad baby massage bonding

Baby Massage

Massage is wonderful for relaxing babies and parents alike, again it stimulates the release of oxytocin and reduces stress hormones, it’s a great way to get to know your baby by touch and also helps with sleep too.


Reading to babies is an amazing thing to do, it helps to build a real connection and a love of books for life, as well as forming a vital part of a good bedtime ritual.

dad reading to baby bonding

Practical Care

Changing nappies, winding, getting dressed, these may seem boring, mundane tasks, but they all provide wonderful opportunities to bond with babies, talking or singing as you dress or wipe little bottoms definitely brings you closer to them.

dad nappy changing bonding

So many wonderful ways to bond and not a bottle in sight!

How does your partner bond with your baby?


Published by SarahOckwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Parenting author and mother to four.

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