Bonding is a special relationship that babies form with their parents. The bonding process is important because it gives the baby a sense of security and feelings of self-esteem from an early age. Through bonding, babies form a special connection with their parents.
Bonding with your baby is intuitive and will occur naturally through these everyday actions:
- Showing warmth
- Showing love
- Making eye contact
If you are looking to build upon these everyday actions that assist with bonding with your baby, we’ve got you covered. Below are six simple things you can do to really build a beautiful healthy bond with your baby.
- Look into the Mirror Together
If there’s anything more fascinating to babies than looking at your face, it’s looking at their face. Make all different kinds of faces in the mirror with your baby. Your baby will try to mimic the faces you make and many of your faces will probably make your baby explode with laughter.
- Breastfeed Your Baby
Breastfeeding your baby involves warmth, touching, feeding and holding at the very least. It is the perfect bonding activity. The skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding increases the levels of oxytocin released by mom and baby. The increase in Oxytocin increases positive hormonal interactions which aids with bonding.
- Talk to Your Baby
Studies show that your baby can recognize the sound of your voice at birth. Take advantage of this fact to begin bonding with your baby right away. Talk and sing to your newborn baby in soothing, reassuring and loving tones.
- Give Your baby a Massage
Gentle massage is a great way to bond with your baby while also providing numerous health benefits. Massaging your baby can also help to relieve post-partum depression, which can prevent you from fully bonding with your little one. For the best massage practices for babies, consult a book or video.
- Make Skin-to-Skin Contact
Skin-to-skin contact also known as Kangaroo Care is a heavenly and practical way to encourage bonding with your baby. Skin-to-skin contact not only helps to calm your baby but also improves the chances of breastfeeding. An easy technique is to place your baby who is naked, except for a diaper, against your bare chest while you sit back in a chair or lie on your couch or bed.
- Be Present for Bottle Time
When you bottle feed your baby there are many things you can do that will encourage bonding. You can make eye contact with your baby, snuggle them close to your chest, talk to them and offer a finger or two for them to grip onto. During these intimate times give your baby your undivided attention and consider not wearing heavy perfumes or using fragrant soaps. Your full attention and natural scent will relax your baby and promote better digestion.
What If I Feel Like I Am Not Bonding with My Baby?
Not every mom bonds with her baby immediately. Studies show that 20% of parents don’t feel any emotional attachment to their babies right after delivery. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to develop that special bond. As you begin to care for your baby the attachment will grow. Remember, that bonding is a process. You wouldn’t plant a seed in the soil and go out the next day expecting to see a full-grown plant. Invest your time, love and attention into your baby and the bond will naturally form for both of you. If this process seems difficult for you because you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness or loss of interest, you may be experiencing postpartum depression. You know your body and any time something doesn’t feel right, you should speak with your doctor or a trusted professional. If you find that it is not postpartum depression, but you still feel depressed, you are not alone in this. In addition to speaking with your doctor, there are also many resources online that can help.