Bonding with your baby is one of the best parts of being a new parent. Here are some tips to help ensure that you are creating a deep connection with your little one.
Bonding with your baby can begin as early as pregnancy. At around 7 months, your baby will be able to hear your voice! In fact, studies have shown that at birth, a newborn recognizes his mother’s voice. Talking, reading, and singing to your unborn baby are all great ways to facilitate that familiarity. You can also try a belly massage. Get cozy, in a calm and peaceful setting, and massage your belly while talking to your baby. You might even notice that he kicks back in response. If possible, get your partner involved as well. The more he or she talks to baby and interacts, the stronger their bond will be as well.
Cuddle Time & Skin-to-Skin
Studies have shown that there are both physiological and emotional benefits of skin-to-skin contact. Strip your baby down to her diaper and cuddle her close on your bare belly or chest, being sure to cover baby with a blanket if it is cold. Doing this helps regulate your baby’s heart & lung function, blood sugar & temperature. Some experts believe that with help regulating his body functions, your baby then saves energy allowing for more efficient development and growth. The more time you spend up close with your baby, the sooner you will learn her cues for hunger & discomfort and the faster you will be able to respond. Particularly during that newborn stage, your baby is at his happiest when he is close to you. So don’t be afraid to spend plenty of time just cuddling. You’ll find that both you and your baby are calmer and more relaxed.
Bond During Feeding
Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding try to make eye contact with baby while they are eating. Hold her close, snuggled against your body as she eats. That reassuring touch and look from mom or dad.
- Nurture your little one’s development and deepen your bond with a variety of age appropriate play. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs or pick a few favorite nursery rhymes and sing them to baby. After a while baby may even try to join in on the sing-a-long!
- As baby gets older and more alert look in the mirror together. It will help aid her development as she becomes more self-aware
- Get silly with your baby! Make a silly face, silly sound or anything else to get baby smiling and laughing.
- Play a game of copy-cat. Do something, like clapping your hands or tapping a table to see if baby will copy you.
- Babies love movement so throw on your favorite tunes and dance around the house together.
- Read, read, read! For newborns, try high-contrast black and white books. As your baby gets older, incorporate books with a variety of images and word lengths. We love this list of board books for your baby’s first year!
Just remember one of the most important things when bonding with baby is to focus on you and baby and let everything else go, one easy way to do this is to have a special place at home where you and baby can have some alone time.