Exclusive interview with Rugby Champion & super dad Ben Cohen on cuddling & fatherhood

London Mums’ editor Monica Costa gets to know Rugby Champion (and father of twin girls) Ben Cohen’s cuddlier side.

Ben Cohen

Q: Ben, what have you learnt while working on the campaign to launch the ‘Cuddle Mastery Guide’ for new parents with Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure and the British Skin Foundation?

Ben: I feel that sometimes as a dad you don’t know how to embrace your baby. New data came out which revealed that 60% of new dads feel nervous holding their baby for the first time and it made them feel slightly left out. Obviously with twins, being left out is not an issue I’ve come across as with having two new babies, you have to be very hands on! I think the idea of the master cuddling guide is great for dads who might be slightly apprehensive of how to hold their newborns- it’s definitely good to have something out there like that.

Q: Is there any specific way of cuddling/ holding your baby that they will directly benefit from?

Ben: I think one of the most important things your child can benefit from is a smile. I always greet my daughters with a smile. Every morning we have a cuddle in bed as a family, and it’s what we’ve done with the girls since day one. It’s crucial to spend quality time with your children and show your kids how much you love them, being a parent is never a straight line, children will push your boundaries every day.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge in raising twin daughters?

Ben: Every day is a learning curve, and everything we do and go through as parents is new to us because its unchartered territory. I like learning together as a family and that’s something I’ve really embraced along with the various other elements that go with being a new Dad. I wouldn’t say raising the girls has been challenging yet, however I’m sure that will all change when they reach the age when they want to bring boys home!


New research by Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure shows that fathers are a bag of nerves when it comes to holding their baby for the first time. A lack of confidence means over half (60%) of new dads feel nervous when giving their little one those first important cuddles.

Whilst mothers have plenty of advice from other mums, fathers tend to feel inexperienced, leading to a confidence crisis when the little one arrives. The research goes on to show:

– A third of fathers don’t know how to hold their baby for the first time

– For 20% of dads, the first baby they will ever hold is their own

– It takes a fifth of dads one week on average to feel comfortable holding their little one, whereas most mums (62%) feel it is a natural instinct from day one

– The majority (40%) of new fathers aren’t left alone with baby until at least one week old

– 80% of dads cover the night feed and cuddles, which is when father and baby start to bond

– Surprisingly, over half (57%) of all new parents feel uncomfortable letting friends and family hold their new-born at first

– 90% of new dads feel there should be more parenting information available

In response to this research, Ben Cohen has teamed up with Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure to create the Cuddle Mastery Guide for new parents. Endorsed by the British Skin Foundation, the Guide helps to give new parents confidence in how to cuddle, comfort and soothe their little ones.

Ben says “Cuddling is one of the best ways to form that bond with your new-born child, and I want to encourage new parents to overcome their nervousness by launching the Cuddle Mastery Guide with Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure. As a father to twin daughters, I know it can be intimidating when you first meet your little one, but spending that quality time with them learning how to cuddle and reading up beforehand really helps to increase your confidence.”

ben cohen Playful cuddle

Jean Robinson, British Skin Foundation trustee and children’s dermatology nurse says “The quality of early parent-baby relationships influences your baby’s subsequent physical and mental development, so it’s very important to get it right from the beginning. Babies who are given lots of cuddles and love and affection may find stress or anxiety easier to deal with as they grow up.”

The Cuddle Mastery Guide is available at www.facebook.com/comfortzoneuk

You can read the full interview with Ben in the forthcoming winter 2013/14 issue 10 of the London Mums magazine out in October 2013. Watch this space!

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