Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bathing Baby - Nigerian Fathers Who Are Stepping Outside the Stereotypes

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There are a lot of single stories about Nigerian men, and some would say, African men. One of those single stories is that Nigerian fathers are not present, not just emotionally, but also physically. But there are lot of fathers, mine inclusive, that were as present as they could be for their children, disciplining, providing, and educating.

Young Nigerian fathers are going even further. Whether in Nigeria or outside the country, they are moving into the areas long regarded as utterly feminine, and one of those is in the early days after a child is born. Some fathers are taking charge and being worthy supporters and helpers to their wives and mothers of their children.

The father in the picture above says via Nairaland;

My wife just delivered recently and I have always wanted to be a part of everything going on with my son including bathing him. I begged my mother-inlaw when she came for omugwo to teach me how to bath my baby, and I can say am very good at it because since my mother-inlaw left, I ve been taking turns with my wife to bath the baby. I enjoy it very much.

In those days soon after childbirth when a new mother is sleep deprived weak and in pain, still coming to terms with being a parent, there's possibly nothing as reassuring as having her partner by her side, willing, ready and able to step up to the plate and bear some of the burden of caring for a new born.

There is also the aspect of bonding between a father and his child that goes on as the new father cares for his baby. Below is Joseph Yobo bathing his son in a throwback picture shared by his wife on Instagram. Who remembers the daddy and me post with the now young son?

So dear fathers, start as you mean to go on. Help your wives, learn how to care for your babies, and you'll be amazed at how good it feels to bond with your child as well as  extra love you'll be receiving from your wife.

RML loves and salutes hands-on dads!


  1. Been bathing for my sons since we had the first 7 years ago. I really don't see it as a big deal.


  2. Men like you need to speak up more to encourage us single women and even to teach the young single men that we're not in the dark ages anymore. Thanks for this post

  3. Beautiful photos. The baby in the second photo seems to totally be enjoying bath time with daddy.

  4. When we start asking men to "help" their wives or partners - thats really where the problem starts (are our standards really that low). Men just need to be fathers, and dont need to be hailed for doing what is their duty as parents.

  5. So wonderful to see men being supportive fathers and husbands...
    @Enyamy, why do we praise a child when he/she passes his/her examination.. Do they not know that school fees is expensive and all they need to do is pass?! lol..Yes it's the responsibility of both parents to raise and look after the child but it doesn't stop both parties being praised when they do so.. Woman are celebrated as well.. Whenever a successful person says 'I owe it to my mum' it makes me want to be a mum too! Arguably, Mother's Day is celebrated with more pomp and pageantry than Father's Day.. That's a praise right there!
    The truth is that not all fathers are quite there yet, I believe praise and encouragement is a great tool to make them 'step-up'!

  6. My dad bathed me and my siblings were we were young in the late 1980s/1990s. Something that seems/is perfectly normal.
    Really no big deal in my opinion.

    You don't need to say 'thank you' or 'well-done' when a father bathes his child or changes their diaper or irons their clothes.. He's just being a parent.. Shikena..

    Maybe it's just my feminist side speaking anyways.

  7. My father bathed me - from when I was a few years old. My brother is very much involved in the care of his 1 week old. It is the right thing to do.

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