Bonding with your baby naturally occurs almost immediately for a breastfeeding or bottle-feeding mother. It is also one of the most joyous aspects of infant care.
If both you and your partner cradle your infant frequently, your beautiful baby will soon realise that there is a different between your touches. Both of you should take the opportunity to be “skin to skin” with your baby by holding him or her against your own skin while cradling or feeding. Keep in mind, that your baby responds to your smell and touch as their parent so use this precious time to bond with them.
It may take a while, being a new parent, to understand that your newborn is capable of bonding in many different ways just as we do.
- An early language for babies is touch. They respond to skin-to-skin contact. Promotes your baby’s healthy growth and development and is also quite soothing for both of you
- Eye-to-eye contact demonstrates meaningful communication when cradling or feeding
- Babies track moving objects with their eyes
- At an early stage, enjoys imitating your facial expressions and gestures
Above all else, love is a paramount feature to bonding with your baby. Although, you’ll always feel like love is an important feature it is essential to demonstrate this through your actions. A built in feature to breastfeeding is the optimum brain development and attachment it provides through the skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye contact – that does not mean that bottle fed babies can’t receive the same left/right brain stimulation! It requires more of a conscious effort but can be done. Be aware not give in to feeding shortcuts too often as this may challenge the closeness spent with your baby.
Bonding With Daddy
These days, men spend more time with their infants than dads of older generations. Fathers bond differently to mothers, mostly because they don’t have the early contact of breastfeeding that mums do. This doesn’t mean that they’re missing out! It’s noteworthy for dad’s to realise that being a father isn’t a matter of being another mum. Instead, dads are able to enjoy in special bonding activities with their infants to strengthen their relationship between infant and father.
Bonding activities which both dad and mum can experience together include:
- Feeding; occasionally father’s form a special bond with their infant when they handle evening feeds and a nappy change
- Reading or singing to your baby
- Mirroring your baby’s movements
- Sharing a bath
- Mimicking your baby’s vocalisations which are the first efforts of communication
- Allowing your baby to feel the different textures of dad’s face
When both parents work together to support and encourage one another, it is then that they will be able to reap the rewards of parenthood.