The bond between parent and child is an intense attachment that makes parents want to protect and care for their little one, shower them with love and affection and make the world a better place for them. Because of this bond, parents are willing to sacrifice their sleep, socializing with other people and even their jobs and their own well-being. Even though that bond is usually immediate, sometimes bonding with the baby takes longer. So, if you haven’t bonded with your child, don’t worry, it will come in time. Also, these little bonding ways will help you establish this connection.
Have cuddle time
During the first few weeks of your baby’s life, you really start to develop a relationship. This is the time for parents to spend as much time as possible on skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye contact. This so-called “birth bonding” is one of the richest rewards of parenthood. Even if medical complications disrupt this contact, don’t worry. You’ll still find ways to connect with your child through your voice and a light touch.
Breastfeed as often and as long as possible
Breastfeeding is not only about providing your child with nutrients, but also about reading your baby’s needs. This intimate act will teach you how to read your baby’s face and body language, while your baby learns that you’re a source of care and comfort they can trust. If you’re unable to breastfeed due to complications, you can do the same with bottle-feeding. Bottle-feeding is also great because it gives the father a chance to bond with the baby in a caring and giving way. No matter the method you choose, consider feeding time as an opportunity to connect and communicate with your child.
Babywearing is the practice of keeping your baby close as you go about your daily activities by the use of a baby carrier. Many cultures practice this method, but it’s not so widespread in modern societies, even though it has many benefits for both babies and parents. It promotes bonding, helps fights postpartum depression, makes caregiving easier and is a lifesaver for busy parents. In addition to enjoying physical contact with both parents, it can also help the baby learn a lot about the world. It's also another way to involve the dad in attachment parenting.
Sleep close to your baby
Many expert paediatricians recommend that babies sleep in the same room as their parents to reap the benefits of nighttime attachment (of course, sleep on separate sleeping surfaces). If you want to give this trick a try, consider getting a co-sleeper, a bedside addition that attaches to your bed. This way, your baby will sleep safely within arm’s reach all the time.
Set a schedule
Babies, like adults, are creatures of habit and if you stick to a scheduled program every day, your baby will feel much more at ease. The child will also realize that it’s you who are doing all of this for them, and they will learn to appreciate that and anticipate you.
Go on a mommy-and-me date
When you start feeling frustrated and tired of the same old routine, go on an adventure with your baby. Hit the zoo or a local coffee shop and get some fresh air. Getting out with your child will remind you that there is a whole world out there still spinning outside your little love nest.
As you can see, the more responsive you are to your baby, the more responsive the baby will be to you. Before you know it, parenting will become second nature to you and you’ll create a happy, healthy and close-knit little family.