When I was 7 months pregnant, I didn’t feel that “super special bond” that other pregnant women talked about having between them and the baby growing inside of them. Other mothers would say to me,“Don’t you just love her already?”
Yes, I was excited to have a daughter and meet her.
Yes, I wanted to protect her.
Yes, I would hold off on that extra cookie because I knew my girl was going to eat it too!
Yes, I loved feeling her kick and move in my womb— but I was worried that I wouldn’t feel an instant connection with her when she was born.
Fortunately, I love her so much and with a deep love that I have a hard time explaining… and we just met less than a year ago!
For many mothers, the bonding process is not immediate and takes time.
This is completely normal andYES, you’re an amazing mother. Sometimes bonding is interrupted with birthing trauma, intensive care, postpartum depression, and other factors.
Whether you have adopted or carried your child yourself, forming a close relationship with your baby is important. Bonding with your baby gives them asense of security andpositive self esteem. It teaches them to trust you and love you. It also helps to ease all the anxieties, worries, depressions of parenting.
Bonding is a process that will grow and deepen as time goes on.So, don’t worry, parents; you are doing amazing!
Here are 10 ways you can bond with your baby:
Lullabies seem like a given for baby nap time, but not everyone sings to their little cuties. Even if your voice is not American Idol worthy,your baby worships you and your voice comforts her. Your voice has been her constant since she was in your womb or first met you.
So, show off those pipes and sing quiet lullabies or jam out to your favorite music during a car ride.
Play an Instrument
This goes alongside with the first bonding tip. If you play the piano, guitar, violin, or even harmonica, your baby will adore listening to the music you create. Even if you aren’t very skilled in a certain instrument, your baby can learn how toclap to the beatand “coo” along to the music.
Breastfeeding releasing hormones in both of your bodies that relax and bond you— how amazing are our bodies? Get some goodskin-to-skin time with your baby and take a few deep breaths as she eats.
On the other hand, some women cannot produce breast milk and sometimes dads have to do the feeding.No problem.When you feed your baby through a bottle, try to hold her close and look into her eyes to intensify your bonding.
Read to your baby every day (for as long as they can pay attention). She will love connecting with you through literature, hearing your voice, and learning little by little. This will improve your baby’scommunication and language skills.
She can also learn about the world around her. The next time she sees a dog, tree, or ball in the outside world, she will connect that with what she read earlier.
This is amajor killer of postpartum depression. Getting your little one in a stroller and getting out of the house will bring you both peace of mind. You can talk to her, sing to her, or smile at her while you walk.
Your babe might even fall asleep, leaving you with a little time to clear your mind or get some exercise.
Repeating back all of her “ooh’s,” “ah’s,” and “baba’s” is likehaving a conversation with your baby. You’ll really feel the bonding when your baby cracks a smile or giggles!
She may even begin to mimic you back with your sounds and facial expressions.
Look at baby photos of yourself and see if you and baby look alike. You can also show her photos of other family members and teach her their names ortell her your memories that go along with the photos.
Who knows if she’ll remember any of it, but she may begin tolearn facial recognition with your family.
Get out your favorite baby lotion, take off all of baby’s clothes and give her a massage. If she doesn’t sit very still, try giving her a toy to play with. Massage her hands, feet, neck, back, and even her cute little face! This is perfect to add to your nightly routine to get baby ready for bedtime.
Fill up the tub with warm water, light a candle, and enjoy a quiet, relaxing bath together. Most babies adore taking a baths and will probably enjoy20 minutes or more! During baths, you can have some good skin-to-skin time, sing songs, or splash water around. It’s way better than taking separate baths!
Go on a date
Get out of the house with baby and maybe let a few friends tag along.
Take a trip to thezoo if you’re feeling ambitious. You can also take shorter trips to themall, a coffee shop, or the park. Get creative and simply take the time to have some one-on-one time with your baby.
If you choose to invite other parents and their babies, make sure to have your sweetie be priority and try to spend more time playing with her than chatting with the other parents.
Try these 10 things when you arefeeling like you’re running out of ideas of what to do with your baby. Your love and connection will deepen and you and your baby willenjoy more JOY.