All moms, both new and experienced, wait in anticipation for nine months for their new little bundle of joy to make a grand appearance. Now that this beautiful baby is in your life, where do you start? Experts across the board say bonding is step #1 and should be your primary focus when it comes to your baby.
Why bond with baby?
A strong emotional connection between parents and their children is what causes mom and dad to pay close attention to what baby needs through vocal and visual cues. A strong bond is what keeps parents playing with baby, and keeps parents more invested in their baby’s future.
Research has also shown that a strong bond between parents and baby are the first model for intimate relationships, socialisation, and help develop security and positive self-esteem.
First steps of bonding
Bonding doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process that develops over time between parents and baby as baby’s needs are met. Parents can start the bonding process immediately after birth with skin-to-skin contact like cradling and gentle strokes. This can give parents a head-start on what is known as the “attachment process”. Parents can develop secure attachment with baby by paying attention to cues and needs, and responding in a loving, nurturing way.
How to bond
Most bonding comes very naturally from everyday activities. Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding allow parents and baby to bond with close, personal contact and by showing a response to baby’s need- hunger.
Skin contact is a great way to keep bonding with your baby. There are a variety of ways to go about this whether through cuddle time, infant massage, or bath time. The more touch-based bonding you have, the more likely baby will be able to tell your cues just from touch alone!
Play and communication are other great ways to bond with baby. Playing with your baby provides a sense of closeness that touch does, but also stimulates learning and creates happiness. Talking to your baby and reading stories shows baby that they are worth your time, as well as begins language development.
Don’t wait. Bonding with your baby will set you up for a healthy relationship and will get your little-one ready for a future of developmental success. For more advice, tips, and more, visit SPRING online. Parents and carers are invited to come check out SPRING and say hello to the team. Discovery Classes are available to see what SPRING has to offer first-hand. Course descriptions are available for each programme.
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