Creating a bond with your baby can happen in many different ways. Here’s some fun ways to start!
- Skin to skin – Placing your little one next to your skin has some great benefits for both of you. It can help regulate the baby’s breathing, heart rate, blood sugar, and temperature. Baby will get to know your voice, breathing rhythm, and they can hear your heartbeat, which brings comfort. As you snuggle your little one, you may feel calmer and more connected as you feel the weight of them on your chest, you hear their breathing and the soft noises they make. The other best part is the unique way they smell, nothing beats the scent of a newborn!
- Playtime – Engaging your little one in play is a great way to bond. The older baby gets the more awake time there will be. Talking face-to-face, holding toys within sight and reach, or supporting them as they stand or “jump” is a way to keep them engaged. Soon baby will keep you coming back for more with their sweet smiles!
- Massage – Soft, gentle caresses can soothe a fussy baby, or help them fall asleep. Adding massage to the bedtime routine is a great way to establish this connection. Your baby be comforted by your touch and learn to relax.
- Baby wearing – When you wear your baby you are engaging with them and helping them engage with you and the world. Taking walks, dancing, and exploring your neighborhood or city can be great ways to explore and have new experiences together. Check out DC Urban Dad and the trips he’s taken with his newborn.
- Shared tummy time – Little ones need time on their tummies to develop and strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles. Babies may not appreciate being placed face down for a period of time, but if you lay down and interact with them, tummy time will become a time of connection and fun!
- Singing or reading – A great way to bond during pregnancy is to read or sing the same book or song to your baby every day. When baby is born, they will recognize your voice and have a connection to you from the start. Often, the sound of your voice will calm the baby because it is familiar. This can help on those nights you are walking the floor with a cranky babe.
- Learn their cry – You might wish that your baby had come with a user manual, but give yourself a little time and you’ll learn baby’s cries and signals. Talking calmly, rocking, swaying, or moving when baby is upset will be comforting and soothe your little one.
- Sleep near baby– in the beginning, you might feel better sharing sleep space with your little one until you learn their signals. Having baby sleep in the same room or in a co-sleeper beside the bed will help you learn those signals without having to jump out of bed and run down the hall in order to make sure baby is ok.
- Feeding– Participating in feeding your little one can enhance the bond between you. Whether you are sitting behind your partner supporting baby at the breast, or using bottles to feed them, you will feel closer because you are nourishing them.
- Bathing – Splashing around with your little one can be a time of fun and play, just be prepared to get wet! Adding bath time to the bedtime routine is a good way to relax and ease into sleeping at the end of the day. In the early newborn phase, after the umbilical cord has fallen off, a great way to bond is to take a bath WITH baby. Soaking in a tub of warm water, skin-to-skin can help with feeling close and relaxing for both of you!
We hope you enjoyed our Top 10! Have fun learning and bonding with your little one!