The bond formed between you and your baby plays a pivotal role in their overall growth and development. This bonding process starts right from birth when your newborn baby is placed in your arms for the first time.
You are so used to communicating with the use of words that interacting with a baby who cannot verbally respond can become challenging, because, at that stage in their life, they do not truly understand. Therefore, developing a close bond with your baby is key to helping you navigate this exciting yet demanding journey as a parent.
Forming a bond with your newborn might not be at the top of your list of priorities because you are so occupied with the necessities of baby care. But research has shown that having a strong mother and child connection through physical interactions is key to their overall wellbeing.
It is the simplest things that you do, especially the way you express affection, that matter. This can be in the form of a smile when changing diapers, direct eye contact during feeding time, a kiss during bath time and gentle cuddles before bedtime.
These positive interactions can help you to communicate with your baby and make them very fond of you. This fondness is of immense value in contributing to a healthy and positive relationship as they grow up.
There are several ways that have proven effective in forming stronger bonds with your baby, some of which include:
1. Skin Contact:
Skin to skin contact is one of the numerous techniques to enhance mother and child bonds. Right from when they are born and placed into your arms, skin contact helps to trigger a deep feeling of love and affection almost instantly. Making regular skin contact with your baby is of immense importance to you as the mother and for the baby. For nine months, your baby has listened to your heartbeat and the flow of blood coursing through their body. Holding them to your chest gives them a familiar sound & vibration they can relate to. This close contact also makes your baby feel safe and protected.
Your partner can also help during this bonding process. If you are asleep or busy with other tasks, your spouse can take over by gently rocking your baby until they fall asleep.
You can also use a baby carrier to hold your baby close to you if you are occupied and need to move around. This will allow you to still maintain skin contact while keeping up with minor chores around the house.
2. Eye Contact:
When your baby is born, his or her eyesight is not very clear and during those first few days, they cannot focus well.
Therefore, it is important that when your baby is awake and active; you need to make a lot of eye contact drawing their attention to you and making it easier to bond with your newborn.
Because your baby is not fully responsive in terms of smiling, laughing or talking yet, looking at them can help fill that void. Also, when they lock eyes with you and make little happy gestures, it gives you a subtle satisfaction knowing that you both are communicating and connecting but not with words.
3. Talk to your baby:
Even though they may not be able to understand you at this point, they can still hear you. Therefore, you need to talk to your newborn baby regularly using sweet and adorable words. Although you may be feeling very emotional, experiencing some baby blues or hormonal changes post-delivery, it will still help to communicate with your child.
As you get into the process, you can either adopt singing, reading or talking to them when nursing. This stimulates the baby's senses, cognitive reasoning and observation of their environment.