The bond between parent and child is unlike anything else in this world. Whether you’ve carried your baby for the past nine months, or are adopting a child into your family, creating a close bond with your little one will have a strong and lasting impact on their life. As the Kids Health website points out, “Bonding is a process, not something that takes place within minutes and not something that has to be limited to happening within a certain time period after birth. For many parents, bonding is a byproduct of everyday caregiving.”
With that in mind, here are five easy ways to strengthen your bond with your new bundle of joy.
According to the Toronto Public Health website, “Your bare chest is the best place for your baby to adjust to life outside the womb. Your baby smells you, hears you, feels you and gets to know you.” Skin-to-skin contact is a great way for parents to feel more connected to this new little person and allows your babe to feel safe and secure.
According to the Kids Health website, “Babies, especially premature babies and those with medical problems, may respond to infant massage.” Setting aside time for a massage ritual with your baby will not only give you time to bond through touch, but also offers a number of health benefits for both baby and parent. Massage can help to improve your baby’s sleep, relieve discomfort associated with common ailments such as gas, teething or colic, and can also help to improve circulation. Parents will find that this massage time helps to relieve stress and build self-confidence—a definite bonus for new parents!
Breastfeeding and Bottle-feeding
Breastfeeding is perhaps one of the most natural ways to bond with your baby, as your baby is completely connected to you during this time. However, it’s important to note that breastfeeding doesn’t always come easily, and that’s okay. For breastfeeding help and support, you can contact La Leche League Canada or your local public health office. Bottle feeding is also a great chance for bonding—you may find that if your partner takes on a nighttime feeding, it will help to strengthen their bond with your wee one as well.
Sing to Your Baby
What could be more soothing for your babe than the sound of your voice? Whether you’re singing a soothing tune or telling him a story, you’ll find that this is a fun and calming experience for both of you that can continue as your baby grows.
Okay, we’ll admit that changing a diaper may not seem like a great bonding experience at first thought. But it is an opportunity for one-on-one time, during which you can talk to your baby, sing her a song or even work in some baby massage time.