First things first, breastfeeding is not selfish. A breastfeeding mother is not preventing others from bonding with the baby. Feeding, though a basic and necessary function, is not the only method by which others can bond with the baby.
How can others bond with the baby? Some suggestions apply to the other parent, while others apply generally.
1) Baby wear. Go for a walk and get some fresh air.
2) Skin to skin time. Sit and relax together. Skin to skin time helps regulate many functions in the baby’s body.
3) Bath time. Give the baby a bath or take a bath together.
4) Massage. Give the baby a massage after the bath or before naps or bed time.
5) Spend time together while Mom showers or takes a break (if she needs and wants one). Read a book together, do tummy time, or just relax together.
6) Fully support and help your breastfeeding spouse or partner. Helping her feel loved and supported is important. Spend time with her while feeding and absorb and understand the experience.
Sometimes the intention behind the activity counts the most. The same applies to feeding the baby. If you want to bond with the baby, create a ritual as opposed to a routine. The distinction is really about the intention behind and attention to the task at hand. Turn off or put away your phone. Be present. Engage. Take it all in.
What other suggestions do you have as ways others can bond with the baby?