20 Must-See Photos of Dads Meeting Their Babies for the First Time

During labor and delivery, the focus is (rightfully) on the mama. She is going through some STUFF, and needs all the support she can get. Once the baby is born, again, it’s all eyes on mom. Look what you just did! You are AMAZING! But a good birth photographer will capture more than just mom’s reaction to meeting her new little one. Dads are right there with mom, and this a life-changing moment for them, too. These pictures of dads meeting their babies for the first time will totally melt your heart, they’re just so incredibly sweet.

A dad’s role in the delivery room will be different with every baby being born. Some are there as coaches, some are there purely to support mama and manage her needs during labor and delivery. We know that every dad in the delivery is a ball of emotions! Pride in watching their partner do what she’s doing. Fear over what is happening and so much being out of their control. Anticipation and apprehension over meeting their little one. And then the baby arrives, and all of that melts away! Dads meeting their babies for the first time are experiencing a life-changing moment, and it’s amazing to see.

Pictures of dads meeting their babies for the first time are full of emotion.

Image: Instagram/@ardinarasti6

Oh goodness, that is a fresh baby! They are just so wee when they’re born. We love this photo so much. The way dad’s hands are cradling the baby, the way he’s looking down. Can you imagine what was going through his head in this moment? It’s so funny, because logically we know they are going to be small. But once they’re here and you get a sense of just how small newborns are, it can be surprising! We’re sure he’s worried about being gentle, but also trying to keep himself from hugging and smothering the baby with kisses and love. Plenty of time for that, papa!

The very first moment dad laid eyes on his baby.

Image: Instagram/@compartilharamaternidade

This is a very special moment. The last stage of labor and delivery can be frantic and hectic, and then suddenly it’s over and what do you know?! There’s a baby! It’s kind of a shocking moment, no matter how prepared you are for it. The emotion on his face is so beautiful. He looks so proud and overcome with love for what he just witnessed his partner do. And then of course, there’s the awe in his eyes after seeing his new baby for the first time. Such a beautiful, powerful moment, and one that this papa won’t soon forget.

While mom is recovering, dad is there to step in.

Image: Instagram/@xujiephotography

Love this shot of skin-to-skin between baby and dad. Skin-to-skin is so very important, and it is a great way for dads to bond with their new babies while mom is resting or being attended to by her support team! And let’s be honest – is there anything sexier than a shirtless dad snuggling a brand new baby? We certainly don’t think so. Someone could make an entire calendar of dads doing skin-to-skin with their babies, and it would sell like hot cakes. Dads meeting their babies for the first time is the perfect opportunity to whip that shirt off and cuddle that fresh babe.

Our hearts!

Image: Instagram/@wonderbirthing

That first moment you lay eyes on them is so incredibly overwhelming. It’s like they’ve been trying to hold it together, and then when they see that baby, they just can’t hold it in anymore. But we love to see this kind of emotion from dads! Because it’s an absolutely life-changing moment, and you’d have to be made of stone to not completely melt into a puddle of tears and love. Plus, sheer exhaustion probably has something to do with it, LOL. Sure, dad wasn’t doing all the work, but if he knows what’s good for him, he’s by mama’s side the entire time. Sleep is for when the baby is like, 12.

So many emotions here.

Image: Instagram/@deborahsilveirafotografia

The last few moments of labor are intense, and then suddenly dad goes from supporting his partner to seeing his baby for the first time. And it all happens to very fast! It can feel like a whirlwind, with everything flying by in a blur. It’s almost too fast to even really appreciate what’s happening. He’s saying, “Push! Breathe! Push!” and then suddenly, there’s the baby. And it just hits them all at once. We love that moment in all of these photos of dads meeting their babies for the first time. You can recognize that emotion in every single one of their faces. 

A moment he will never forget.

Image: Instagram/@asteinwachs

We wonder what was running through his mind? There’s so much emotion in the minutes and hours after a baby comes into the world. Fear, love, excitement, a little more fear. It’s easy to think of the baby as more of an abstract during the pregnancy. It’s the “idea” of the baby, rather than the actual baby, you know? But once they’re here, all of those thoughts and questions and feelings come bubbling to the surface. We love this picture because it looks like dad is just taking it all in, and processing exactly how much his life has changed.

Double the excitement!

Image: Instagram/@lindseymeehleis

And love and fear and just general feeling of WHAT JUST HAPPENED. Having a baby is a momentous occasion. Having two or more babies at the same time? Multiple all of the emotions and fears by a thousand. But mostly, given the complications that can arise in a multiple pregnancy, there’s probably a general feeling of relief. They made it, they’re here, they’re healthy, and everyone is together. Plus, when babies are so wee, there’s plenty of room on papa’s chest for some double skin-to-skin. Those babies will soon be too big to snuggle so close at the same time, so this dad is getting it in while he can.

Someone’s gotta love on the baby while they’re getting checked.

Image: Instagram/@alurawayne

For a lot of dads, this is the first moment they get to really SEE this new little life they helped bring into the world. The little baby is just lying there, getting weighed and measured and checked out. And it’s the perfect time for dad to come over and take in all the little details. The way their hands and feet are all wrinkly. The way their little faces scrunch up when they’re about to cry. That soft skin, those sweet little lips. Plus, dad can be close by to offer comfort and soothe the baby when those pokes and prods get to be a little too much. 

Hand on mama, eyes on baby.

Image: Instagram/@paulagalvaofotos

Love this family photo. There’s no reason a c-section can’t be a beautiful, calm experience for all involved. There’s no right or wrong way to have a baby! Nowadays, doctors and hospitals are doing more to help families have the childbirth experiences they want, even if they happen in the operating room. Gentle c-section, immediate skin-to-skin, no drapes to block mom and dad’s view – all of these can help make a c-section a wondrous, memorable experience. We love this photo because it’s filled with love (even the doctor’s eyes are filled with emotion!). Clearly, a successful delivery, and a healthy, happy new family.

So much love in his eyes.

Image: Instagram/@remmem

You can feel him beaming! And good gravy, just look at this little baby’s lips. What a doll face! These are the best moments after a baby is born. When it’s quiet, just mama and papa and their new little one. They’re just smiling so big their faces probably hurt. Whispering to each other so as not to disturb the baby. Looking at each other in disbelief that this just happened, because even though they can logically see what just happened, it takes some time to sink in! But dad’s face here is just perfect. That’s a smile that he’ll be using a lot in the coming years.

Time to cut the cord!

Image: Instagram/@monica_evans_photography

This is dad’s big moment! And it’s a lot of pressure and A LOT to process. But this is the moment they’ve been waiting for – their big contribution to the childbirth experience! Sure, it’s pretty easy compared to what mom just managed to pull off. But it’s sort of symbolic, isn’t it? Cutting the cord that keeps the baby attached to mama, and creating a family unit that includes them all. Even for the squeamish, this is one moment they can swallow their unease with stuff like this, and take those scissors in hand. Snip, snip, and baby is free to receive lots of dad snuggles.

His smile says it all.

Image: Instagram/@caitlinrabbitt

It’s one of those deliriously happy smiles that hurt your face. Dads meeting their babies for the first time will never NOT kill us, because it’s a moment where they let down all of their guards and just let those emotions flow freely. Have you ever seen a bigger smile than the one on dads meeting their babies for the first time?! It’s like their whole face is taken over by joy, and they just can’t keep from letting that smile shine. It’s just such a cool experience, watching your child come into the world. For every day who gets to experience it, it’s a moment they will never ever forget.

Hey there, little one! I’m your daddy!

Image: Instagram/@blackcherryphotography

And this is my finger, never ever let it go. This is seriously one of the sweetest pictures in this entire gallery! Baby hands never look as small as when they’re wrapped around mama and papa’s fingers. And it’s like that baby knew instinctively that dad was right there waiting to say hello. Those fingers will be intertwined for many years to come, but that first grasp is the strongest and the most special. We’re talking about dads meeting their babies for the first time, but it’s also the first time the baby meets their parents! What a magical day.

Sometimes a dad just has to fist pump.

Image: Instagram/@catprowler

There’s a lot of excitement and exuberance happening in that room! This dad is PUMPED, and we don’t blame him. It can be a very exhilarating experience, watching your partner bring your child into the world. They’re full of pride for her, in awe of her, and just super stoked to finally meet this little person they’ve been dreaming about and waiting for all these months. And it can help this kind of pumped up energy in the room during delivery, too. Some moms need to see that to push through those final moments. So go on with those fist pumps, dad!

Also read: 25 Gorgeous and Powerful Photos of Moms Delivering Their Own Babies

A rare, quiet moment between daddy and his new little one.

Image: Instagram/@mrstaracarroll

There just aren’t words to describe the feeling of seeing your baby for the first time. Everything about this photo is so lovely. The way it’s framed, the lighting, dad’s big arms cradling such a new little baby. Every chance you have to steal little moments like this after your baby is born, take them! These are the quiet, tender moments you’ll want to remember forever, and it helps to have someone there to document them. Birth photographers are about more than capturing the actual birth – they’re there to capture perfect moments like these, that might otherwise get missed or go unnoticed. 

And then they were five.

Image: Instagram/@belovedbits

When you have other kids, it makes sense to want to involve them in the birth of their little brother or sister. After all, this is their family too, and everyone should be there to welcome new life with love. But the sweetest part about this is dad – he’s standing there with his older kiddos, introducing them to their new little sibling. Having another child when you’re already parent is kind of a weird experience. You’re not sure if your heart can grow to include another child, and then they arrive and it becomes apparent immediately that your heart was just waiting for them this whole time.

Why, hello there.

Image: Instagram/@lanebphotography

One of our favorite parts of dads meeting their babies for the first time is not only the way that dads look at their babies, but the way the babies look at their dads. Just look at that sweet little face! And the hospital bow is a nice touch, too. It’s as if the baby is saying, “So THAT’S what you look like!” The baby has been listening to their dad’s muffled voice for so long, it’s probably nice to be able to finally put a face to the voice. This baby just looks so at home in papa’s arms, like they’ve been waiting for this moment just as long as him.

‘Sup, pops.

Image: Instagram/@norabalikophotography

OK, this picture made us laugh. Those little fingers! It’s like the baby is giving the peace sign as a greeting to their dad, which is just perfect. What a great moment for the birth photographer to document! It’s always surprising how serene and calm babies look after they’re born, considering just how much they’ve been through. They go from floating around in their mama’s belly to being in a bright, cold room, surrounded by people whose faces they don’t recognize but whose voices they’ve been listening to for months. It’s certainly a big day for everyone, that’s for sure!

1Just taking it all in.

Image: Instagram/@familienfotografie

We imagine the entire childbirth process feels a little strange to dads. They’re obviously an important part of the equation, but in reality, they don’t really … do much. At least, in the physical sense. We know that plenty of moms wouldn’t be able to get through it without their partner by their side. But for dads, they probably feel a little helpless at times. They can’t make it easier, they can’t make it go faster, they can’t do it themselves. And then when the baby is born, there is still so much that mama takes the lead on. But good dads know that just being by her side, supporting her and helping in any way they can, is the best possible thing they can do.

That little hand!

Image: Instagram/@canadian_birth_photographers

Gonna need some tissues, like immediately. This one is giving MAJOR baby fever, because it’s a well-known fact that baby hands and feet are impossible to resist. But this dad meeting and holding their baby for the first time? Insanely beautiful. It’s such a perfect moment, just the two of them, not paying attention to anything else in the room. Just taking this moment to get acquainted and feel each other out. That little hand on dad’s neck is just so perfect, and we’re sure this family is thankful that this moment was captured to remember forever.

The moment a new baby arrives is overwhelming and emotional and a million other things. For dads meeting their babies for the first time, this is the first real moment of WOW, I’m a dad! And these pictures express those moments beautifully.

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