So I got this invitation in my inbox.
It would have been wrong of me not to clear my schedule immediately.
Even sneaking the boys out of school a little early (tut tut), we hightailed it to the Charlotte Street Hotel for our afternoon tea engagement with the former rugby champ.
Ben Cohen has teamed up with Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure to create the Cuddle Mastery Guide, a mini booklet aimed at giving new dads the confidence to cradle their newborns.
The guide features adorable babies and shirtless Ben (equally adorable) in a variety of recommended poses for giving Papa Bear hugs.
According to research by Persil, a third of fathers don’t know how to hold their baby for the first time and 40% of new dads aren’t left alone with their bubbas until they’re at least a week old.
Aside from being an expert on tucking a rugby ball under his considerable biceps, Ben is obviously a pro at cuddling. As the father of twin girls (now aged 5), he had no option but to get stuck in from birth.
Ben’s advice to novice dads: ‘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.’
We’re big on cuddling at Babes HQ and the boys’ are also sports mad, so they formed an instant bond with Ben. It wasn’t long before they were clambering over him, playing with his iPhone and getting tips on being a world class player (57 matches for England, respect).
When my eldest asked him if he ever felt scared before a game, Ben told him, ‘Of course, but I’d be worried if you never felt scared, it shows you’re human. Also nerves help you focus.’
Great tip for my little worrier.
We also chatted with Jean Robinson, British Skin Foundation trustee and children’s dermatology nurse who talked about the importance of skin-to-skin contact with babies and gave advice on conditions like eczema.
Download the Cuddle Mastery Guide at https://www.facebook.com/ComfortZoneUK as a new daddy gift this Father’s Day. Or as a little treat for yourself. Apparently, cuddling Ben Cohen is good for you.
It certainly made my day.