There’s no doubt about it. Mothers do get the brunt of the struggle that comes with expecting a child. For the most part, soon-to-be dads can’t do much other than try to make their partners comfortable.
However, after their children are born, dads have a chance to shine and a chance to shoulder a decent part of the burden. Here are some 75 stirring fatherhood moments that show the strong bond between a father & his child.
#1 The underrated value of nap time
A fact most new fathers learn very quickly is that babies rarely sleep for more than two hours at a time. Sure, you won’t have those eight-hour sleep cycles you’re used to, but what better way to bond with your child than to share a nap schedule?
#2 Meeting your child for the first time
I’m sure you’ve heard people say it before. It’s hard to explain; you just have to be there to see it for yourself.
#3 Getting to hold your child for the first time
Someone else has been carrying your child for the last nine months, so it never really hits you. When you do get to hold them for the first time, it suddenly gets real. You get this overwhelming urge to protect and care for your child at all costs.
#4 It’s always harder than you think, but…
There’s always going to be so much that needs to get done. It can be overwhelming, and the lack of sleep doesn’t help either. However, clarity kicks in every time you look at your child’s face; the chaos is worth it.
#5 Sometimes the best you can do is just be there
Birth is painful, and no one doubts that. It can be frustrating for dads to watch helplessly as the love of their life goes through all that pain. Being there to let her grab onto your arm is a good start, trust me.
#6 A partner who deserves appreciation
The first few weeks after birth can be chaotic. Everybody is still figuring things out. A new mom shared that she wasn’t doing too well. She admitted to not being the best partner, often losing her cool, but her husband understood where it was coming from and supported her through it all.
#7 Dad’s can take selfies too
What’s cooler than a mirror selfie of you rocking a cool outfit? A selfie of you in your cool outfit holding your newborn daughter in her cool outfit.
#8 Delivery rooms can melt any stone heart away
Sure, you’re a tough guy, for the most part, doing what needs to be done throughout your life. But nothing prepares you enough to see your child being born. You will be a mess of unfamiliar emotions, and no one will blame you if you cry.
#9 They like to cuddle with dad too
While they are familiar with their mom’s embrace, they’ll soon start to find a sense of calm in their father’s arms too. In a few months or so, they’ll begin to seek you out more.
#10 Your first chance to give her a break
Seeing your child for the first time is a massive deal for multiple reasons. One often overlooked one is that this is the first time in the nine months of pregnancy that dads can share in the load of raising their child while giving moms a chance to take a break.
#11 Bonding 101
As moms breastfeed and cradle newborns, they naturally bond with their children. Dads, on the other hand, have to work overtime to build that bond. A great place to start would be to cuddle or take naps together.
#12 More bonding
Another way for dads to build that bond is to get some skin-to-skin contact with their newborns. Sure, you’re more muscular and hairy than mom, but it still is necessary.
#13 Another argument for skin-to-skin contact
Skin-to-skin contact has also been found to reduce crying in babies. It would be hard not to appreciate some quiet when it can be found.
#14 The hurricane that is parenting
Things can be extremely stressful for both moms and dads in the beginning. Giving mom even 20 minutes to breathe by helping out makes a huge difference.
#15 Unsung heroes of the delivery room
Many people can’t handle the chaos of childbirth. So for a dad to not only be in the room but also insist on being the first one to welcome their child into the world is pretty special.
#16 Your heart will melt
It doesn’t kick in until you get to hold them in your arms. You may have been expecting your newborn for months, but holding them makes it more real.
#17 Small enough to fit in your hands
Perhaps that’s why new dads often say they feel this strong urge to protect their babies. Your baby will be smaller than you think.
#18 A clearer perspective
Raising a baby together with your partner can be great for your marriage or relationship. The lady behind this lense admits that seeing her husband hold their child made her realize how much she loved him.
#19 Dad can multitask too
Moms need breaks. When dads step in to ease their load, they prove to be surprisingly reliable.
#20 Exciting times ahead
Your partner may have been impressive and proven more than once that they’ll be there for you throughout, but as the lady behind this lense found out, nothing is more assuring than watching your partner grow into the role of being a dad.
#21 Finally here
The nine months leading to labor can be scary. You’re doing everything to make sure your baby is born healthy and safe. It’s liberating when all that finally pays off.
#22 Bonding 101
Skin-to-skin contact can help reduce postpartum depression in both males and females. It also helps with anxiety after your child is born.
#23 Struggles of joy
You’ll sleep less and always be tired. Small issues will start to feel like the end of the world. However, every time you get to hold your innocent child, you get the sense that it’s all worth the pain.
#24 Miracles come in pairs sometimes
Having twins is a different kind of special. It may be twice the work, but it also brings twice the joy.
#25 Giving mom the weekend off
For working dads, weekends and holidays are great for two reasons. First, they get to make up for all the bonding they missed while working. Most importantly, it allows mom to take a break and regain the strength she lost throughout the week as well.
#26 It doesn’t get old
It’s hard not to fawn over how cute your child will be. Everything they do is exciting. The way they sleep, the noises they make, the weird expressions on their faces – it’s all so entertaining.
#27 Another argument for skin-to-skin contact
Skin to skin contact isn’t just for your child. It’s been proven to have a calming effect on dads too. So after a long stressful day at the office, this may just be the way to go.
#28 Wake up call
Something most dads realize quickly is how children bring clarity to their lives. There’s so much we’re constantly chasing after. Having a child brings everything back to the basics, the present.
#29 It’s different with a second or third child
You’ll be more comfortable with your kids at this point. You won’t feel as clueless as you once were. One thing that doesn’t get easier is the lack of sleep – in fact, sometimes it gets worse.
#30 We can’t stress it enough
We all take sleep for granted. You’ll learn to respect and value sleep more than anything else. Even 30-minute naps will start to feel godsent.
#31 Looking forward to new milestones
This will be your child’s first time in the world. Everything is new and exciting for them. Everything is a milestone you can be a part of.
#32 Things don’t always go as planned
Some babies come sooner than we expect them to. Naturally, they can’t always go home as soon as we’d want them to. They’ll need some extra special love and attention to make up for the time they skipped in the oven. They are still a miracle.
#33 Best friends
You’ll quickly discover that you have one more best buddy in the world. They just come in a very small package for now.
#34 Contagious baby laughter
You’ll spend a lot of time trying to figure out what makes your baby laugh the most. Watching your baby laugh is addictive; you just can’t get enough.
#35 Selfie gold
One of the perks of being a new dad is all the cool new selfies. It’s hard not to look good with them in your arm.
#36 Goofy face
Everything including worry lines on your child’s face will light you up. It makes up for all the sleep you won’t be getting.
#37 You won’t want to let go
Your newborn will always be on your mind. Not even sleep and fatigue can keep you apart.
#38 The magic never ends
These feelings of awe and excitement don’t end when your child starts to grow older. As they discover new things and explore the world, you’ll want to be there to see it all.
#39 Pure instinct
You won’t always have the answers on how to deal with being a father. It happens instinctively. Trust your gut and enjoy the ride.
#40 A new source of pride
No matter how many accolades you may have raked up in your life, nothing compares to the satisfaction of seeing your child for the first time. You can’t help but feel that you’ve done something meaningful.
#41 Simple pleasures of fatherhood
From afar, people who haven’t experienced it can only see what they think you’re missing out on. What they don’t see is how satisfying just being around your kids can be.
#42 Naps, naps, and more naps
Again, naps are a recurring theme in fatherhood. When you aren’t looking, chances are your partner can’t help but take a picture or two to immortalize those adorable moments you share with your child.
#43 Part of the team
Unlike the past where dads staying home to help was unheard of, it’s possible today with handy tools like milk pumps. How can we not celebrate that?
#44 Tinmen with hearts
Being a dad brings out the nurturing side that men tend to shy away from. It’s hard to be macho and grunty when holding these little bundles of joy, you just can’t.
#45 Small acts of kindness
As the lady behind the lens in this picture found out, a little help with taking care of their child was the perfect gift for her birthday. The flowers and cake her husband got her were great, but the time to relax was needed more.
#46 Contagious laughter
There it is again, the cute laugh that thrusts you into a good mood no matter how much of a bad day you’re having. It’s arguably the best part of being a dad.
#47 Any time spent together is valuable
Taking your children out for a meal or to a fair may be nice, but what they’ll remember and value most are those little moments at home like that one time you taught them how to shave or how you taught them to tie their ties and comb their hair.
#48 Better perspective and focus
Having twins is very demanding. However, you’ll quickly learn what you want out of your life. Your thoughts will be clearer and you’ll find peace in focusing on the basics.
#49 Baby’s head scent
You’ve probably heard someone rave on about how amazing baby’s heads smell. Well, they weren’t exaggerating. Research shows that that smell has a purpose, it helps with bonding.
#50 A source of strength
Children can be a source of unbelievable strength. The man in the picture suffered a stroke two weeks before his daughter was born. The need and desire to be there for her is what kept him going through his recovery.
#51 Cause for celebration
Some people shed tears out of joy, some are paralyzed by fear, and some just pass out. There’s also the rare breed that can’t help but burst into celebratory laughter when they finally get to see their child for the first time. There is nothing wrong with any response.
We know of moms who can do lots without breaking a sweat. How many dads do you think can come close to this?
#53 Celebrating another first
Lots of people don’t get to experience such beautiful scenery until they’re taking a road trip in their 20s or 30s. This gem was lucky to have her dad bring her out on her first hike before she could even walk.
Again, newborns can simplify your world in ways most therapists can’t. You can’t help but reflect on how you got to this new happy place you call home.
#55 We do the best we can
This picture just screams exhaustion. He did his best and that’s all it takes to raise a child. I’m sure his partner couldn’t help but smile as she took this picture.
#56 Everything is exciting
Even mundane things like feeding and taking baths feel like watching the moon landing for the first time. You don’t want to miss any of it.
#57 Too cool for school
I mean, you can’t complain about a dad who can make bottle feeding look cool, can you? I thought so too.
#58 Lean on a friend to say goodbye to daddy
Military parents have it rough. Some go for months and years without spending any time with their kids. It’s not easy, but they do what they can. Small moments like these mean a lot.
#59 Goodbye kiss
Work can be rough. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to pull through the day. Knowing you have someone to look after can be a source of unimaginable strength on such days.
#60 There it is, that smile
How can you be in a foul mood after coming home to that pure smile? That is true happiness.
#61 The moment a dad is born
When you see them for the first time, it becomes real. You realize how important being a dad is.
#62 You get the hang of it
After your first child, you develop powers you didn’t know you had. Easy peasy.
#63 Synced sleep cycles
You sleep when they sleep, it’s that simple. That’s how you survive, and that’s how you get through the day. No magic tricks here.
#64 You did it
As you get comfortable with raising a newborn, looking back at all the fear and anxiety you once had just seems so foreign. Your child has learned to find comfort in your arms as you have also learned to find peace in being with them.
#65 Snuggly boop
Being with your newborn beats everything you thought was fun before. They’ll still rob you of your sleep, but you can’t help but want to be around them all day.
#66 Your source of pride
You can’t explain why, but being a dad just makes you want to let the whole world know you are a dad. You just want everyone to appreciate what you see.
#67 He has your look
Now and then your partner will notice the cutest details that remind her of you. Take this dad, for example, I wonder where his baby learned to do that?
#68 A chance to end a bad cycle
Not everyone is lucky enough to have loving dads. Many boys grow up wanting to be better fathers than their parents ever were. Take this picture for example. He grew up without a father. After working 70-hour weeks and doing lots of travel, he musters what little energy he has left to make sure his twins never feel the way he did as a kid.
#69 Never let them go
You’re sleep-deprived but still have this strong urge to be by their side. What do you do? You never let them go, even in your sleep.
#70 That’s my boy
You’ll be surprised by how similar your child will be to you. It could be the color of their eyes, it could be their hair, or something as simple as how they sleep.
#71 An overwhelming sense of purpose
Sometimes, the appropriate response for the tornado of emotions within you is to cry, not out of sadness but joy. Holding your child for the first time can be a mind-blowing experience.
#72 It’s a team sport
You can’t do it alone. This guy’s wife just got out of surgery, and one of their kids had a fever and a nasty cough, while their 5-year-old was just a tornado of energy. The idea is to make it easy for each other. Sometimes you’ll be pulling the extra weight for your spouse, other times they’ll be easing the load of you.
#73 Selfie game power-up
What would make a better selfie than one with you and your baby? One with you and your baby smiling.
#74 Surprising calm
The months leading up to labor can be hectic. It doesn’t help that fear and doubt start to take hold as you question whether you’re good enough for the job. When you finally get to hold them, a mysterious calm settles in, you just know what to do. Suddenly everything is okay.
#75 Don’t skip your nap time
Learning how to take a nap when you can is an invaluable skill for new dads to learn. It’ll help keep you going through those long sleepless nights.