Bonding with your baby is something that comes naturally for many (but not all) mums, but there’s no harm in giving nature a helping hand. There are so many beautiful things you can do to strengthen the bond between you and your bub – and you may be surprised to find out how many you’re already doing.
Bonding with your baby begins the instant they’re in your arms, and each day the connection between mother and child grows stronger. It’s one of the most beautiful relationships you will ever have in your life, and here are five simple ways to nurture it further.
1. Baby massage
This isn’t just for tired mums! Babies respond to massage the same way we do. It relaxes and soothes, can help babies sleep better, and fosters the bond between mother and child.
There’s no need to be a professional masseuse, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Create a serene, calm and warm environment.
- You can choose to give your baby a massage when they’re alert and rested after a nap, or as part of their bedtime routine after a bath.
- Warm some baby massage oil between your hands, and use gentle strokes on their feet, legs, arms and tummy.
- While you’re massaging, make sure to make eye contact and smile.
- You can also give your baby a back massage while they have tummy time.
Check out this handy step-by-step guide to massaging your baby.
2. Bathe together
Bathing with a fresh little newborn is a really beautiful way to bond. Watching their tiny legs kick in the water is a reminder that not too long ago, those little kicks were in your belly.
Take the time to gently wash your your baby’s hair, let them float on their back while you support them, and let them rest on your chest. They may even breastfeed while surrounded by the warmth of the water – yet another bonding experience.
It’s never too early to foster a love of reading in your child. At the earliest stages of their life, they will be comforted by the sound of your voice, so it doesn’t really matter what you read to them.
One of the best bonding experiences you can have with your baby is to create an environment where they feel safe – and routine is a big part of this. Reading is perfect to add to a bedtime routine, after a warm bath and a feed.
Babies love a tune! You can sing nursery rhymes or you can sing the latest top 40 hits, your baby won’t care (and they won’t mind one little bit if you’re off-key!). The sound of your voice – the voice they’ve been hearing for nine months in utero – is all they need. Eventually as they find their own voice, they will join in.
5. Baby wearing
Actually holding your baby is, of course, one of the main ways to create strong bonds with our children. They are able to feel your warmth, breathe you in – and in turn you do the same. But we all know that holding our babies in our arms for the majority of the day is an impossibility (although some days it feels like it’s all we do).
Plenty of research has been conducted into baby wearing, and its benefits to both mother and child – one of which is bonding. Studies have shown that carrying a baby reduces crying and fussiness by almost half during the day and even more at night! It will be easier for you to read your baby’s cues when she is calm and relaxed, and of course you’ll feel more calm and relaxed too if she’s not upset – helping you to enjoy your time together even more.
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