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A strong bond with the parents is invaluable for a child’s growth. It gives babies a sense of security and self-esteem. While most of the people claim that mothers feel the connection, and are able to bond with their newborn the minute they have the baby in their arms for the first time, sometimes it takes more than just a single look and a touch to create a loving, connected relationship.
Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to bond with your baby, since it involves skin-to-skin contact, allowing your baby to feel truly connected to you. Furthermore, once you achieve such intimacy, you’ll soon learn to read all your baby’s signs and facial expressions, as well as their body language. The baby, on the other hand, will understand that you’re the one caring for them, and that they can trust you to provide them with all the comfort and protection they need. In case you are not able to breastfeed, due to certain health issues, bottle-feeding will also help you bond with your baby. What’s more, this is a great way for fathers to connect with babies as well.
Sleeping close to the baby
Sharing the same bedroom with your newborn is a good way to bond. Night time attachment is as important as any other, so sleeping close to the parents will significantly improve the process of bonding. A bedside bassinet that you can attach to your bed will ensure the baby is close enough and sleeping in a safe environment. However, you should only have your baby sleep in your room for the first few months, after which they should sleep in their own room so that they can get used to sleeping alone and be comfortable in their own room when they’re older.
Having the baby in your arms offers the ever-needed physical connection all babies want. Furthermore, babies can learn a lot from spending time in a baby carrier, as they will have a chance to look their parents in the eyes and feel them close. Furthermore, a concept known as kangaroo care is another form of bonding with your baby. Namely, it involves skin-to-skin contact and is especially calming for babies. The parent and the baby are chest-to-chest, with the baby only wearing a diaper and something that will cover their back. This snuggling ritual helps babies sleep better, while also developing a bond between the parents and the baby.
Another way to bond with your baby is to give them a gentle soothing massage. Not only will the massage help create a strong bond between you and the baby, but it will also feel relaxing and potentially ease postpartum depression in the mother. However, remember that your baby is small and more fragile than you are, so use gentle motions and rub their back and tummy softly and with great care. Massage the tummy using your fingertips, and move them in a clockwise motion. Furthermore, hold their knees and feet together and press the knees gently towards the baby’s abdomen. Give your baby a chest massage as well, by placing both of your hands on their chest and stroke outward from the sternum to the shoulders. Starting from the sternum, continue by tracing a heart shape bringing both hands up to the baby’s shoulders, slowly going down and up again.
The time you spent bonding with your child will always feel precious to you. Learning all about your baby’s facial expressions, body language and their needs will help you take good care of them and raise a happy and healthy child. Don’t worry if you don’t feel connected enough with your baby immediately because every relationship needs time to build and grow.