Five fun ways for dads and their babies to bond this winter

Winter is on the way and for dads of very young children it can be difficult to know how to keep the little bundles of joy happy and be a truly active dad during those cold months. Winter months can sometimes feel like you’re just trying to stay warm, and it can be a struggle to really connect. But with these five activities, every dad can keep that natural bond with their babies going and feel like a truly heroic father this winter.

inside den building

From an early age babies love to have their senses stimulated by playing games like peek-a-boo. As they develop this can be taken a stage further by laying them down and holding a blanket or throw at each end and gently covering them with it before pulling it down off their body. It gives them the sensation of hiding and also stimulates their senses as moving the blanket causes a nice breeze – it’s guaranteed to get a smile every time.

As they get older you can begin to expand this with inside den building. Babies and toddlers love it when you take all the cushions off the sofa, bring down a double of king-size duvet and make somewhere for them to hide. They love the sense of being in their own little confined world – well for a few minutes at least. Sofa arms and armchairs make an excellent support for your duvet and a few cushions underneath can create a wonderfully-cosy area for them to unwind in. Here, dad can also be reading to children or pop them down for a daytime snooze in a cozy sleeping bag for extra comfort to ensure they’re snug and warm on even the coldest winter days.

swimming

On a winter day it can be tricky to find something genuinely new and exciting for your baby to do. So why not use the winter months wisely and get them swimming. While it may be tempting to just dangle their feet in the sea on a baking hot summer day, a daddy and child trip to the swimming pool can boost your baby’s confidence and get them used to the sensation of being in water.

Most leisure centres with large swimming pools also have a small teaching pool which is normally warmer than the main pool. This is the perfect place to hang out with your baby as the temperatures drop outside. Check to see if your local pool has designated times for children – some leisure centres will provide balls and floats for your baby to use but you can always pack your own.


As you’ll soon find out the hardest part of taking your baby swimming is after they’re out of the water. They’ll instantly want to be warm and eating something when they’re wet and getting colder. Why not take a snug suit for them to slip straight into after they are out of the pool. There’s no need to consign the snug suit just to outside – they are the perfect way to warm up you baby in preparation for the journey onwards.

a trip to the woods

Find a baby who doesn’t like to play outside and we’ll find you a million that do. As babies get older they love the outside world which is full of colour and new experiences at almost every step. Bond with your baby this winter by taking them to the woods or forest. The only things you’ll really need are plenty clothes – why not start by layering them up nicely with a snug suit to provide ample winter protection. You can bring coats and lots of layers too as you’ll both probably end up getting pretty muddy!

While the very smallest of babies will sit in their strollers, once your baby can walk or toddle the soft ground is perfect for those first stumbling steps. Hopefully you can watch the look on their face as they spy autumn leaves falling from the sky – toddlers love picking them up and taking them home. You might find some bugs or conkers or mud to squelch around in. Children love nature at its slimey best! As they grow older you may even want to teach them about how to make slime!

transport spotting

Another great cheap way to entertain your little bundle of joy this winter is to take them on a nice walk to look at some… transport!

Wrap them up warm in layers, ideally in some great knitwear, and take them out for a nice walk to your nearest bus station, train station or even airport. Babies love looking at buses and lorries. Head to the bus station and grab a coffee while your little one marvels at the big vehicles in front of them. Tractors and boats also work well – we guarantee they’ll be spellbound!

There’s something magical about travelling around Christmas time, and all the different modes of transport with their array of lights and noises, can be wonderful opportunities to get your baby to experience new senses together.

laundry basket spaceship

An activity that can be done inside or outside is the laundry basket spaceship. This may sound like a daft one, but put your little one in a washing basket and watch how much they love it. Dress them up in a nice woolly hat and scarf and zoom them around the front room – then whisk them outside and around the garden. Pad out the ‘spaceship’ with a woolly blanket or throw to keep them toasty and then bring them back in the house. It doesn’t have to be a spaceship – it could be a boat, plane or a train or… whatever you think works.

 

Have a brilliant time together this winter.

From building healthy bonds no matter the weather to potty training toddlers to dad jokes; Daddilife curate the very best Dad content for everything you need to know. You can read more stories over on their website.

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