Bonding is the deep emotional attachment that you feel for your baby. It is the overwhelming rush of feeling that makes you want to smother your newborn with love and kisses, and protect him or her from all harm.
The bonds that last a lifetime don’t bind overnight; rather, they form gradually, over time. So give yourself time, time to get used to being a Mum or Dad and time to get to know your little one. Meet your baby’s basic needs (and your own), and you’ll find that love and bond forming; one day (and one cuddle) at a time.
This may seem like a given, but spend as much time as possible with your baby, your new best friend forever, by getting LOTS of skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye contact. And just focus on the basics – feed them when they’re hungry and pick them up when they cry (even if you have no idea what he or she wants). Your attentiveness will deem you trustworthy in their tiny beautiful eyes.
By paying close attention to your baby’s facial expressions and reactions, you’ll become an expert on his or her likes and dislikes, whether it’s a song that soothes them or the way you hold them that is the only way to comfort them when they have wind. Teach them your likes and dislikes, too. Sing your little sweetheart your favourite songs (they may even recognise them from their time on the inside).
Whether breastfeeding, bottle feeding or combined feeding, feeding times are also great bonding times. By showering your little one with nourishment and attention, through intimate contact they learn to trust and be comforted by you.
Wear your baby
Use slings and other upright baby carriers. Slings let you get up close and personal with your little bundle of joy, and a sling ride is a great way for your baby to see the world through your eyes. It can help him or her to get used to the environment and people around them. It’s become a Dad’s favourite as it also gets them involved and helps them feel close to your little one.
To bond all night long, let your baby sleep in your room in a Moses basket. They will be able to hear you breathing and feel close to you and also safe. They are with you all day, every day and want to be close to you at all times!
The power of touch is amazing! Baby massage is an age-old practice that helps bond you to your baby and relaxes their muscles, increases circulation, and reduces stress (for both of you.) And most important of all, massage will help your little one break wind.
Learn their cries
As your little one can’t talk just yet, they communicate through crying. Hungry? Dirty nappy? Too hot or cold? Who knows! But your baby’s cries are their own little language, and you have to learn to translate and understand it. Once you do, and as your bond grows, you become an expert at anticipating his or her needs before they get upset (you may even find that they cry less – result!).