As a new parent, you want to do everything possible to foster the strongest bond between you and your newborn. Bonding doesn’t just happen on its own—it takes time, effort, and patience. Fortunately, you and your partner can form these close relationships by using these ways to bond with your newborn.
Provide a Sense of Security
When it comes to providing your baby with a sense of security, you need to make sure that they know they can rely on you. Talk to them in soothing tones and hold them close when necessary. It also helps to create a consistent daily schedule for your baby so they eat, play, bathe, and sleep at similar times each day. Having a routine helps your newborn know what to expect, reducing their stress.
Note what soothing techniques your baby responds to best. For instance, do they like when you bounce them a little, or does your singing help calm them down? Of course, every newborn is different, but soothing helps instill trust between family members and foster feelings of security in your child’s mind.
Engage in Skin-to-Skin Contact
Skin-to-skin contact between parents and babies is an incredibly important means of emotional bonding. Regular physical contact helps regulate your baby’s hormones and release endorphins, which naturally help build strong bonds between you and your infant. Likewise, skin-to-skin contact encourages trust between you and your child. This is because it creates opportunities for both parties to engage in mutual gaze, facial expressions, and vocalizations.
Carrying your baby in a sling is a great way to maintain skin-to-skin contact throughout the day. Aside from increased bonding, other benefits of carrying your baby in a ring sling include more comfort and privacy while nursing in public.
Establish Family Playtime
Playing as a family is a great way for parents to bond with their newborn. It allows them to engage in activities together, leading to laughter, fun, and connection. Spending quality time together helps foster trust, open communication, and understanding between a parent and their child. Strive to sing songs with your newborn or play basic games such as peek-a-boo. As your baby grows and their mind develops, playtime will also evolve.
Take Care of Yourself Too
Parenthood is overwhelming, and we all want to do it perfectly, but every parent makes mistakes. It’s how we learn. When things start feeling stressful, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you do the best you can for your little one. Feeling tense increases agitation, and you may feel less inclined to bond with your newborn when everything puts you on edge. Make a schedule with your partner to get breaks when needed, and never fear asking loved ones for help.
Looking for more great advice? Check out our podcast, That’s Total Mom Sense, where moms share their experiences for fellow parents to learn from!