How to Develop a Bond With Your New Baby
‘Bonding’ refers to the special, long lasting attachment that forms between parents and their newborn. This bond is important as it is what compels parents to love their child unconditionally, and instinctively want to protect and nurture them.
Research by Princeton University found that an alarming 4 out of 10 infants in the U.S. do not form a bond with their parents, which can impact them for the rest of their lives. These kids often grow up with fear and distrust, and lack a sense of security that their needs would not be met. Furthermore, they are more likely to be characterized by aggressiveness, defiance and hyperactivity at an older age.
It is therefore crucial for parents to bond with their baby from the time of birth. Although some parents experience it immediately, others may take more time and effort to feel an emotional connection with their newest member of the family. To help you bond with your new baby, try these different ways below:
From the time of birth, try to spend as much time cuddling your little one in skin-to-skin contact as possible. Simply touching or caressing your newborn will also contribute to your infant’s sense of security. This will set the stage for building a lifelong, loving relationship.
Breastfeed your baby for as often, and as long, as possible. Not only will your baby receive the wonderful benefits that mother’s milk provides, such as a boost in disease fighting antioxidants, but the intimate contact teaches him or her that you are a source of care and comfort who they can rely on and trust. Nursing also provides you with the opportunity to learn to read your baby’s signals and facial expressions.
Sleep in the same room
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies to sleep in the same room as you, but on separate sleeping surfaces. Keeping your baby within arm’s reach will also help develop your bond during nights.
Smile and talk
Interaction is a great way to help you bond with your newborn. Even though they won’t understand you at first, they will learn to recognize your voice and become sensitive toward your actions and emotions. Also try leaning in close to their face while maintaining eye contact.
Create a relaxed atmosphere
Bonding with your newborn happens when the atmosphere is calm and relaxed so you’re able to focus and give him or her your undivided attention. Restrict visitors to certain hours of the day, and invest in home decor consisting of soft, natural green, blue or gray colors. Also try to remove clutter as it is distracting and gives a sense of chaos and disorder.
Parenthood is ultimately an experience unique to each individual, so it could take a few weeks, or even months to build a bond with your baby. It generally comes as a byproduct of everyday caregiving, so keep at it and before you know it, you will have fallen in love and bonded.
- Agnes Yoon