The first month of parenthood is an incredibly special and transformative time for new families. As your little one adapts to the world outside the womb, you’re provided with a unique opportunity to create a strong bond that will last a lifetime. Every little interaction with your baby can contribute to strengthening the bond between you both. Simple gestures like talking to them, making eye contact, and responding to their cries can only go a long way in building a sense of trust and security.
Surrounding your baby with a loving atmosphere, filled with soothing lullabies and gentle touches, creates an environment where your little one feels safe and cherished. It’s important to remember, however, that every parent-baby bond is unique, so be patient with yourself and you’ll start feeling the bond in no-time.
Top Tips for Nurturing the Bond with Your Baby
Some parents feel an instant connection with their baby from the moment they first lay eyes on them, whereas for others, it may take days, weeks or even months to bond with your baby. That being said, there are some things you can do to nurture this bond. These include:
Frequent Skin-to-Skin Contact
Without a doubt, the most effective way to forge a deep connection with your newborn is through regular skin-to-skin contact, especially should it occur within the first hour or two after birth – otherwise referred to as the ‘golden hour.’ Regardless of whether your baby is newborn or a little bit older, skin-to-skin contact works wonders.
This level of physical closeness has a calming and relaxing impact not only on your baby, but also on you as a mother as well, which contributes to the gradual nurturing of the bond. Aside from holding them close, you could also consider bathing with your baby, as it provides not only a familiar warmth which they experience within the womb but also a profound sense of connection.
Additionally, gently massaging your baby is a great way of both familiarising yourself with their preferences for touch, but also helping your baby become comfortable with your touch and improving their quality of sleep.
Frequent communication is also a key factor in building a strong bond with your baby. Even though they won’t understand your words and their meaning at first, talking to them throughout the day allows your baby to hear the soothing sound of your own voice. Whether that’s through reading them books or providing commentary on whatever it is you may be doing, actively engaging with them throughout these sessions is great for fostering communication.
Investing in baby-safe tech with a two-way communication feature is another great way to ensure you and baby can hear each other – even when you’re tending to chores, or at work.
Sing to Them
Singing to your baby is not only an enjoyable experience, but it’s also highly beneficial for their development. Due to their natural affinity for sounds and music, singing to your little one can create a calming environment. Alongside this, incorporating actions, such as quick movements or even signing can help them develop their coordination and motor skills, as well as their ability to concentrate and focus. Many baby apps today let you record custom sounds, including the sound of your own voice so you can record and play them to soothe and stay connected to your baby, even when you’re not around.
Be attuned to their Cues
Being attuned to your baby’s cues and signals allows you to understand when they’re tired, hungry or in need of a change in scenery, and promptly respond to their needs. By observing and learning to interpret their cues, you gradually become more in sync with each other, deepening your connection with each other even further.
Especially during feeding times, maintaining eye contact with your baby whilst speaking to them in a soft and soothing tone helps to promote healthy emotional development.
Incorporating this into your daily routine helps to strengthen your connection with your baby and is fantastic for their development. Whether that involves taking leisurely walks with them in a pram or sling or interacting with them on a play mat, interaction enables your little one to see you, hear you, and feel safe in an environment entirely new to them, providing essential opportunities for bonding.
How Should Your Bond Change and Develop as Your Baby Grows?
Despite what many expecting parents are led to believe, bonding with your baby is not all sunshine and rainbows right from the get-go. In fact, as many as one in five new parents report feeling no real emotional attachment to their baby immediately after birth.
In fact, it’s often not until they’re seven or eight months old that your baby will begin to develop strong emotional attachments to you and other important people in their life. At this point, they’ll care deeply about who it is that’s holding them, miss you when you aren’t there to hold and comfort them and be happy when you come back to them. This bond continues to grow and develop throughout their toddler years, enabling both you and them to enjoy the fruits of your efforts throughout the remainder of their lives.