How to Bond with Your Baby
Here at Calisson Toys, we understand that the journey to parenthood kicks off long before that tiny person takes their first breath, and you get to hold them. As you look forward to becoming a parent, the urge to bond with your little bundle of joy inevitably grows stronger. The best part is you don’t have to wait until they’re born to start forming that bond. Bonding with your child can begin as early as your second trimester and carry on once they’ve been born.
Bonding with Your Baby Before Birth
Those first few weeks of pregnancy can be stressful and tiring, often accompanied by morning sickness. However, as your bump starts to grow, that mother-baby bond starts to feel more palpable. Here are a couple of ways you can bond with your baby while you’re still pregnant.
Talk or Sing to Your Baby
By the time week 18 of pregnancy comes around, your baby starts to perceive sounds. Shortly before the start of the third trimester, noises inside and outside your womb can soothe your baby. Subtle sounds like your hungry tummy or your heartbeat become audible, as does the sound of your voice. Talking to your baby helps your baby establish a connection that carries on after birth. Some parents-to-be even read stories to their baby and, of course, sing lullabies. And once the baby is born, they are ready to be introduced to books for further development.
Massage Your Baby Bumps
Massaging your baby bump is an excellent way to form a bond with your baby while also unwinding. A belly massage soothes your baby, and leaves you feeling pampered and relaxed. Get your partner to massage your belly using massage oil with soothing lavender or rose scent. Asking your partner to massage you is a great way to get them to share in the pregnancy experience. For the baby and the mommy’s safety, only perform baby bump massages after the first trimester and after consultation with your healthcare provider.
Take Some Time to Reflect on Motherhood
Take the time to reflect on what motherhood means to you. Reflection can take place in many settings. It could mean anything from journaling, sitting down for meditation, enjoying a peaceful walk, or taking a warm, soothing bath (provided the water stays at a moderate 98.6 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit). The reason for reflection is to spend quality time with yourself contemplating what motherhood means to you. Keep a diary and write experiences to your unborn baby, which one day you could read back to your child if you wish to. As you spend more time reflecting and anticipating becoming a mom, you’ll get to appreciate the meaning of motherhood and nurture a closer bond with your baby.
Bonding with your Baby After Birth
After roughly 40 weeks, your little one finally comes into the world. What a joy! What stress! Bonding with your newborn is essential for your baby’s overall development as much as it is for you to get to know them. Establishing a bond with your baby goes a long way in creating a feeling of safety and familiarity. Here are some tips for establishing that connection with your newborn.
Newborns benefit a lot from skin-to-skin time. Skin-to-skin contact helps calm your baby by releasing stress-relieving hormones that stabilize breathing, heart rate, and body temperature. As a mom, skin-to-skin contact with your baby stimulates the production of oxytocin that enhances bonding while lowering your stress levels and promoting healing. According to a study conducted at the University of Basel, Switzerland, women with lower oxytocin levels have a higher risk of postpartum depression, making skin-to-skin contact all the more critical for both of you. Get your partner to also hold the baby and enjoy all the benefits of skin-to-skin contact!
And for those times when you can’t hold your baby but still want to offer the comfort of your scent, try the Mussi Cuki. It is a super-soft comforter designed to soothe, calm and reassure you and your baby. How does it work? Parents sleep with Mussi Cuski or place it close to their skins for a few days to pick up all those soothing and familiar smells and then introduce it to the baby. And as your baby gets older, it can also help transition to a bit more independence.
Another excellent opportunity for skin-to-skin contact is when you dress your baby. Take that opportunity to linger your hand on the baby’s skin a bit longer than necessary when you slip on a little sweater or their cute booties.
Make Eye Contact
Eye contact is a vital part of non-verbal communication and lays a firm foundation for language development. Establishing eye contact is a great way to teach your baby to use their eyes as another way to communicate. An ideal way to support your infant’s development of eye contact is by looking at them during feeding. Eye contact enhances your baby’s gaze and builds a closer bond.
Make Time for a Baby Massage
Adults aren’t the only ones who love a bit of pampering. A daily massage is a fantastic way to bond with your baby. Using a light touch, you could massage different areas, including the head, face, chest, back, or even the tummy (be sure the umbilical cord is completely healed). The most important part of a massage is to ensure your baby is in a comfortable position and on a soft surface such as the Little Royals Elliot Blanket throughout, and keep an eye out for any signs that your baby wants you to stop.
Why is Bonding So Vital for Parents and Newborns?
Many parents, especially new ones, feel like they’re not doing things the right way if they don’t instantly bond with their babies. However, certain factors might contribute to this occurrence. If you had a C-section, chances are you won’t get to see your baby immediately after birth. Or, if you had a preterm baby, it might take longer to develop a bond as your little one spends the first few weeks of life in an incubator. Pain and exhaustion after childbirth could also interfere with the bonding process.
Even if the start has been challenging, you can do a few things to develop that bond. While at the hospital, ask that you and your baby sleep in the same room to give you more time to get to know each other. If your baby is premature, request some time to hold and talk to your baby, even if it’s only holding the hand while the baby is in the incubator. Once you get home, spend time with your baby by carrying them on a sling or rocking them to sleep. The soothing sound of your voice or a gentle touch could be the solution.
Becoming a parent is a huge milestone. Welcoming your newborn to the world is only the first phase of parenthood. Building a bond with your baby is the next critical part of parenting and it goes a long way in your baby’s development and overall well-being. As a parent, you also get the benefit of enjoying some quality time with your tiny look-alike. We at Calisson Toys are here to make the bonding phase easier for you. Visit our gallery and browse our articles lovingly created with your baby’s well-being in mind.
With Love and Appreciation,
The Calisson Toy Family