You’d think that after a long nine months and intensive labour, that you’d deserve a well-earned rest. Well, it goes without saying that you do deserve one, however, when you have a newborn at home it’s much easier said than done! Now, you need to focus on not only recovering from birth but also bonding with your little one. When it comes to bonding, we’re talking about establishing and then cementing a strong unbreakable bond with your baby. Of course, you may already feel incredibly attached to your baby, or perhaps you’re a little wary and questioning every action you take. All these emotions and thoughts are valid.
Bonding can happen straight away, or it may take a little longer for you to establish that strong connection. There is no time limit, and sometimes, if your child was taken away from you due to medical reasons at birth – click the link if you’re looking for a cerebral palsy lawyer – then you may be worrying that you’ve missed out on a crucial bonding opportunity. The fact is that as long as you don’t put pressure on yourself, adhere to your newborns’ needs and take your time, the feelings will come.
Remember, if you are struggling, then speak with your midwife or doctor. There are plenty of professionals who are more than happy to help. Read on for 5 simple ways to bond with your newborn.
Skin to skin
When your baby was born, they were probably placed directly onto your chest. This skin to skin contact is soothing and calming for both of you. It helps you get to know each other! Hold your baby often and let your skin touch. Skin to skin can help to reduce your baby’s heart rate, regulate their temperature, their breathing rate and it helps them to keep calm knowing that they can smell and hear your heartbeat. It’s such a simple way to bond. Get your partner in on it too!
Breastfeeding releases hormones that help to create feelings of love and attachment. Of course, not every new mum wants/chooses to breastfeed and that’s fine! You can still make feeding time all about bonding by talking softly to your baby, looking into their eyes and holding them close.
Of course, they probably don’t understand a single word you’re saying, but by narrating what you’re doing, chatting to them, singing, telling stories and smiling at them you’re continuing to build a strong relationship.
Again, it doesn’t matter how old they are! Picking up a colourful or textured book is a wonderful way to bond. You can look at pictures, explain what’s going on, make funny voices and just enjoy cuddling together. Bliss.
Ask for help
If your baby is in special care right now and the traditional bonding methods above aren’t appropriate right now, don’t worry. Ask a nurse or medical professional how to safely touch or hold your baby whilst they are receiving care. Let them hear your voice, sing and make as much eye contact as you can. Don’t be afraid to take photos and document these incredibly important moments from their early life.
* Collaborative post