I distinctly remember the feeling of softly holding my newborn babies in my arms
for the first time. A warm glow flooded my heart that seemed to flow throughout my whole body. That’s the feeling of “bonding”—the term researches have given to the close emotional tie that develops between parents and their baby at birth and in the first few months of a baby’s life.
But the truth is, you may feel this instant bond the second you hold your baby, and you may not. You may feel confused, scared, and disconnected at first, and that’s completely normal. Like many relationships, it may take time to bond with your little one.
I learned that an important secret to bonding with my babies was to relax and be “in the moment” when doing everyday activities together. For example, I would think of changing my babies’ diapers as a chance to give them a smile, as well as help them feel cared for and clean. The same held true for giving my babies’ a bath. I appreciated the miracle of their soft skin and loved to massage their little legs and toes while singing a song (Their favorite was counting each toe and finger as I washed them!)
Following these tips below will help you bond with your baby and teach her the important lesson that she can trust you to take care of her needs:
- Lovingly pick her up when she cries, reassuring her that you will be there to comfort her.
- Gently touch or caress her to help her develop a feeling of security when you’re holding her.
- Focus only on feeding her when breast or bottle-feeding, instead of watching television or catching up on email while doing so. By focusing your attention only on your baby, you’re telling her that she’s important to you and giving yourself a chance to relax and be “in the moment” with your baby.
Make sure you sign up for our weekly emails to learn more about what bonding means to you and your baby, and check out this story on bonding.