As explained in our article on the importance of bonding with your newborn, bonding with your baby is essential for the health of both you and your baby. We understand that after the birth of your baby, it can be an overwhelming yet tiring time for you. To support you in your journey to perfecting parenthood, here are some ideas on how to bond with your newborn.
• Mirror looking
However weird this sounds, this is in fact a very intimate activity to do with your newborn. Humans are one of the few God’s creatures who has the ability of self-recognition. Your baby may not be able to recognize himself/ herself in the mirror until they are around 18 months old, however babies LOVE looking at human faces! Not only is it fun, it will also help your baby explore and learn about his/her surrounding as well as himself/herself. This will be a fun activity to get intimate with your new born.
The WHO (World Health Organization)’s recommendation for the length of breastfeeding is until babies reach 2 years old. Breastfeeding is designed perfectly for YOUR newborn. It does not only provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients and provide them with protection against infections – breastfeeding also helps foster a strong bond between you and your baby. Your baby is like a sensory sponge – he/she just absorbs everything that he/she comes across! As your baby snuggles with you and lie in your warm embrace, your baby will remember and recognize your scent and listen to your heartbeat. This kind of intimate skin-to-skin contact is an excellent way to bond.
• Bathing with your baby
Bathing with your baby provides you the skin-to-skin contact that we talked about. However only do this with a safety net for your baby, and always test the temperature of the bath water before jumping in with your baby. A warm bath aids circulation and helps us to relax. This will be beneficial for your baby as well as yourself. However, always remember that your baby is super delicate, so only have a bath with your baby in a well ventilated bathroom.
Newborns do not have perfect eyesight when they are born. At most, they can see things within 20 cm from them. Despite this, it is worth getting close and personal with your baby and looking into your baby’s eyes during chats, feeding and other activities. You will be surprised how much both of you enjoy this small little trick.
• Smell your baby!
Scent is the strongest tie to memory, so take in your baby’s scent! Everyone has their specific scent, and the same goes for your baby. I dare you to take a sniff, you won’t be able to resist.
• Hugs and Kisses xoxo
All the smooches and hugs you give your babies can do them good. Hugs and kisses are not only good tools for bonding, but also helps reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormones) by releasing oxytocin. Hugs and kisses can also assist your baby to gain the ability to regulate his/her emotion from a young age. So… KISS AWAY!
• Talking to your baby
Your baby might not understand what you are saying yet, however your baby is taking in the sound of your voice. Your baby has been listening to your voice since he/she was inside your womb. Your voice is something that is familiar to him/her and it will make your baby feel safe. You will enjoy as your baby gives you heart-warming reactions and babbles as you talk.
Rest assured that bonding comes in all shapes and sizes (so to speak). It takes time, patience and hard work. Don’t give up, enjoy the journey and have fun.