New parents handling the first few weeks with your new family member?
Most parents often worry about not getting along with their little one, about not feeling that connection at the first touch. Here are a few simple tips to bond with your baby in the first week weeks as a new parent.
1. The power of touch
Isn’t his skin soft? Isn’t she adorably cuddly? Follow your heart and keep focusing on skin-to-skin contact by snuggling, stroking and caressing your baby. This not only ensures healthy growth and awareness, but also the development of a relaxing trust within your child. Regularly massaging a baby is known to ease postpartum depression in moms and reduce stress in newborns. Talk or sing to your little one while you’re at it, and do not forget to maintain eye contact. The first few weeks of physical bonding are crucial to a relationship with your little one.
Feeding children as often and as long as possible creates a sense of security in them. Breastfeeding not only teaches the mother to read her baby’s expressions and body language, but also provides care and comfort to the child. In case some complication prevents you from breastfeeding; don't be afraid to consult a lactation consultant in these cases.
3. Sing or Read to your baby
The sound of a mother’s voice is as soothing to the baby as the feel of her touch. Sing them a lullaby, or tickle their toes while singing a silly rhyme. The key is to maintain a rhythmic, soothing and consistent tone. Interact with your little bundle by reading them a story and changing your expressions to match every emotion. Reading has been known to stimulate brain development even in very young children.
4. Understand your child
Get familiar with your child’s body language. An arched back, curled up fists, scrunched up face, hyperactivity, a happy cry, or an upset cry are the times you need to decipher what your baby wants. Responding to your child’s needs-be it by feeding, or by changing a diaper, or by the means of your comforting touch-builds trust. It has been seen that kids who create a secure attachment with their parents happen to be more independently brainy as they grow. Another plus point? As you learn to respond to your child’s needs better, you know what the kid wants even before they say it.
5. Baby wearing
One of the best ways to involve dad in parenting is using a sling or a front baby carrier. This is a great way to have dads physically bond with the baby. Baby wearing ensures babies feel comforted and secure as they tune into their environment alongside a parent.
6. Bathing with your baby
Keep your baby’s environment invitingly calm by playing soft music and dimming the lights. The pleasant time of bathing can not only help in bonding, but can also aid the growth of your baby’s brain.
7. Play with your baby
Playing is yet another way to bond with your baby while they learn and flourish! Lie down on your back and let the baby rest on your belly. Move a colorful object or two in front of their eyes. With a playful voice and friendly expressions, make sure that the baby is able to focus and follow the object. One minute of your kid trying to hold the head up is good enough at first. Don’t watch them drop their head in frustration or sheer exhaustion, and try to make this a game that they look forward to playing.
8. Cradle your baby
Babies are easily comforted through motion. Try singing out ‘Rock-a-Bye’ to your child as you rock them to sleep on your lap (or on a rocking chair).
9. Sleeping with the baby
Try to be by your baby's side as much as possible for the first few months. Place your bed close to your baby, but on a separate sleeping surface, to keep yourself only an arm away in case you are needed. This too, is the time that goes into you and your baby getting to know each other.
10. Relaxed parents are better that tensed ones
Children respond to feelings. Taking care of a new born can be exhausting. But for the sanity of you and your baby, take a night off, if need be, and balance yourself out to enjoy re-bonding with the baby. Tip: To stop all that energy from getting drained, make sure to have the grandmas, aunts, cousins and friends only a call away. After all, an overtired momma is the last thing you want to be!
Spending time with your little one ensures you baby’s brain is busy building neuron connections. This helps them remember how safe and secure your presence is. So, follow your instincts (no advice can replace the wisdom and insights you develop while uniquely bonding with your baby), and cherish this process of mutual giving. The day your baby smiles at you for the first time, you will realize just how much love and joy can fill your heart.