Easy ways to bond with your newborn
Bonding with your newborn is incredibly important. Many women will feel bonded instantly upon holding their little one for the first time...You know that moment when glitter falls from the sky and the choir of angels sing? Oh wait. That that was just in our heads. Some moms will not feel that instant connection, and that’s perfectly normal. Instant- angelic-choir or not, continual bonding needs to be fostered for development and stress reduction. A strong connection to the mother or caregiver helps the baby to feel secure, adapt to life outside the womb and develop long term self esteem. So what’s a momma to do? How do we bond with someone you can’t exactly have a two-way conversation with? Here are a handful of ways to bond with your sweet new buddy:
Skin to Skin
The science behind skin to skin contact is incredible! It can positively impact the baby’s development in some pretty amazing ways long term, but in the immediate short-term, it provides comfort to your baby by releasing hormones that relieve stress and stabilize body temperature (which can be hard for a little one to get under control in the days following birth. After all, they did just come out of a perfectly warm womb.) It also stabilizes the child’s heart rate and breathing as well as releasing a hormone in the mother that lowers her stress. #perk
Bottom line, snuggle that baby and you’ll both be feeling better.
One of the many benefits of breastfeeding is the opportunity for bonding with your baby. She will snuggle in close, hear your heartbeat, and smell you which are all comforting. A new baby can only see 10-12 inches from their face, and nursing keeps them at the perfect distance to see you and make eye contact. Nursing also releases oxytocin which aids in relaxation and attachment. Bottle feeding. No worries. Keep baby close and make lots of snuggly eye contact.
Everyone likes a good massage and that goes for your baby too! It relieves stress in both baby and mother and touch is physical sign of affection and a great way to bond.
So how do you do it? Grab some gentle baby lotion or oil and start at the toes, rub in circular motions up to the foot to the knee. Repeat on the other leg. Move from the knee up the thigh and back down to the knee. Massage the tummy in a clockwise motion to help relieve gas. (if you go counterclockwise you can actually push gas higher up in the belly and make the baby uncomfortable.) Swipe hands over the shoulders and massage down each arm and hand. Gently rub baby’s neck and cheeks, ears and behind ears before placing baby on her tummy. Starting at her neck, massage down all the way to the toes!
Read a Book
Reading to your baby is a great way to calm them and bond. Your voice is one of the first sounds that they recognize, even before being born! Don’t have a book on hand? Sing a song or tell a story. You can even just describe things around you. We promise your baby wont care if the story goes something like this…
“Mommy’s making coffee, it’s brown and grainy and will hopefully keep me awake and sane”
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