As explained in our article on the importance of bonding with your newborn, bonding with your little one is essential for the health of both you and your baby. We understand that after the birth of your baby, it might be overwhelming for you. To support you in your journey to perfecting parenthood, here are some ideas on how to bond with your newborn.
1. Mirror looking
However weird this sounds; this is in fact a very intimate activity to do with your newborn. Humans are one of the few creatures who have the ability of self-recognition. Your baby may not be able to recognize themselves in the mirror until they are around 18 months old, however, babies love looking at human faces! Not only is it fun, but it will also help your baby explore and learn about their surrounding as well as themselves. This will be a fun activity to get intimate with your newborn!
The WHO (World Health Organization)’s recommendation for the length of breastfeeding is until 2 years old. Breastfeeding is designed perfectly for your newborn. It does not only provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients and provide them with protection against infections – breastfeeding also helps foster a strong bond between you and your baby. Your baby is like a sensory sponge – they absorb everything that they come across! As your precious one snuggles with you and lie in your warm embrace, your baby will remember and recognize your scent and listen to your heartbeat. This kind of intimate skin-to-skin contact is an excellent way to bond.
3. Bathing with your baby
Bathing with your baby provides you with the skin-to-skin contact that we previously talked about. However only do this with a safety net for your baby, and always test the temperature of the bathwater before jumping in with your baby. A warm bath aids circulation and helps us to relax. This will be beneficial for your baby as well as yourself. However, always remember that your baby is super delicate, so only have a bath with your baby in a well-ventilated bathroom!
Newborns do not have perfect eyesight when they are born. At most, they can see things within 20 cm from them. Despite this, it is worth getting close and personal with your baby, looking into their eyes during chats, feeding and other activities. You will be surprised how much both of you enjoy this small little trick!
5. Smell your baby!
Scent is the strongest tie to memory, so take in your baby’s scent! Everyone has a specific scent, and the same goes for your baby. Take a sniff, you would not be able to resist the scent of your little one.
6. Hugs and Kisses xoxo
All the smooches and hugs you give your babies can do them good. Hugs and kisses are not only good tools for bonding but also helps reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormones) by releasing oxytocin. Hugs and kisses can also assist your baby to gain the ability to regulate their emotions from a young age. So… KISS AWAY!
7. Talking to your baby
Your baby might not understand what you are saying yet, however they are taking in the sound of your voice. Your baby has been listening to your voice since he/she was inside your womb. Your voice is something that is familiar to them and it will make your baby feel safe. You will enjoy it as your baby gives you heart-warming reactions and babbles as you talk.
Rest assured that bonding comes in all shapes and sizes (so to speak). It takes time, patience and hard work. Do not give up, enjoy the journey and have fun!