I can’t believe that my little one is 3 months old already! I still remember the day we brought him home – he was so tiny, curled up under the noose of my neck, feeling safe and protected and unaware of the world around him! Merely holding and cuddling him made me feel instantly happy. Bonding with my baby was the most active anti-depressant in the first few days post-partum, and now, even though he is 3 months old, I still feel that bonding is extremely important for both baby and the parents, and it is this bonding that paves the way to a happy, healthy relationship in a family.
What is Bonding? That special feeling of love and attachment that you and your baby share, right from the time that you see his image in your first ultrasound appointment – that is called bonding. It’s the feeling that makes you want to shower your little one with tenderness and love, and protect them from all things bad. There are many ways in which you can establish a long-lasting relationship with your child, but always remember, that it all starts when they are newborns or infants, and the love and care that you bestow on them at that age, that is the basis for developing a lifetime of love and trust. So here are some ways in which you can start bonding with your baby, right from day one:
Breastfeed Your Baby
This one is a no-brainer, because almost everyone knows that breastfeeding is not just important for the health and development of your baby, but also for the physical and emotional attachment that it fosters. Why do all babies go to sleep contentedly at the breast after feeding? Because that is the safest and coziest place for them, until they are ready to explore the world on their own. If you can’t breastfeed for some reason, try holding them as close to you as possible when feeding with a bottle, to simulate the magic of breastfeeding.
Hold & Cuddle Your Baby
The first year of life forms the foundation of trust and security for your child’s future. Being held, caressed and cuddled are part of providing a loving environment during this initial and critical period of bonding. Various studies have shown that babies that are held, rocked, breastfed and carried when young, grow into compassionate, responsible and less-aggressive as adults.
Respond to Your Baby’s Needs
You can never pamper a newborn enough. Up until 6 months of age, there is no discipline on the cards. Always respond as soon as you can to your baby’s needs. Whether they are happy or upset, pay attention! This love and attention will ensure their better development and enhance brain activities more as well, along with fostering the feeling of safety – he will start trusting you to take care of him, and will carry this trust for life.
Carry Your Baby Often
Touch and smell are important ways for newborns to connect. This is one reason why doctors always encourage skin-to-skin contact with your newborn child. This is also why breastfeeding of an infant is strongly encouraged. Touch and hold your baby as much as you can. Wear your baby in a Baby carrier, like the Boba Carrier, which helps keep your baby close to you even when you are working. Your skin contact and the smell of your body makes him feel safe and comfortable, and also establish the bond with a parent. This is a really recommended bonding method for Fathers, who don’t get as much skin-to-skin contact with babies as the Mothers.
Massage Your Baby
Babies need touching! It is not a luxury or just a good idea. It is essential to their health and well-being. Touch stimulates your newborn’s physical as well as emotional health and may indeed be necessary to stimulate the release of certain hormones that promote health and a healthier immune system. That is the reason why baby massages are so important. Incorporate a daily routine which includes at least 10 minutes of massage – this can be a special time for the parents to connect with the baby, and for the baby to get familiar with their touch.
Even when you child is an infant, try to establish communication with him. Look him in his face, so he can read your facial expressions; even a baby knows that his mommy did not like what he did because her face does not have the smile that she normally does. Talk gently, yet assertively to your kids as they grow and make your point clear without sounding harsh. Voice modulations and facial expressions are strong ways to communicate, other than conversations and actions.
Sing & Play With Your Baby
Singing to your baby is one of the most recommended ways to bond. In fact, you can start singing to them right when they are in your bellies – research has shown that more often than not, babies will instantly respond to the lullabies that you sang fro them in-vitro, because a soothing sound like mother’s singing voice, creates long-term memories and acts as stress-suppressant for a child. Paying with your baby is not only important for their brain development, but it also relieves you of your stress, smile at your baby and see how he smiles back at you. It’s the best remedy for stress!
Acknowledge Their Feelings
This becomes very important as your baby grows and starts to verbally express himself. Never ignore their feelings, be attentive and responsive, and listen to what they have to say, even if it sounds really silly or insignificant. Parents who accept and validate their child’s emotional communications help create a trustworthy and secure base for their children to grow on.
Babies are God’s best gift, and it is entirely upto us to enjoy them, nurture them, and give them the best so they grow up to be loving, caring and responsible human beings. To raise a child and imbibe good values is a huge responsibility, but by taking steps right from their birth, you can create a bond and a dependable, nurturing environment which will help them evolve into equally dependable adults. So take these steps and bond with your baby – it’s never too late to start. And if you have some more tips that you can share, please do so via comments below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boba. The opinions and text are all mine.
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