The bond between you and your baby is a unique relationship that is one of the greatest joys of parenthood.
Although most parents expect to bond with their newborn immediately, it is important to understand that bonding is a process, and it may take time to build a relationship with your baby.
Many parents bond with their babies through everyday caretaking. In fact, you may not even know that you are bonding with your baby until you see his first smile and feel that familiar tug at your heart.
Is it Important to Bond with Your Baby?
Bonding with your baby is not only fun for the both of you, it is also important. Many studies have shown that bonding is essential to babies’ psychological and sociological development, by nurturing their social skills and emotional wellbeing.
In addition to nurturing the parent-child relationship, skin-to-skin contact has also been proven to calm and comfort babies, reducing their stress and improving their mood.
The Role of Dad
When it comes to bonding, it is important for babies to develop an attachment to both parents. Even though mothers may find it easier to bond with their babies, and may do so at an earlier stage, it’s equally important for fathers to have a relationship with their children.
Research shows that babies whose fathers were involved in their caretaking are more emotionally secure, and have more curiosity and enthusiasm towards their surroundings.
How to Bond with Your Baby
Now that you understand the importance of building a relationship with your baby, you might be wondering: How do I bond better my baby?
The trick is to weave simple bonding activities into your everyday routine, because bonding can happen anywhere, anytime.
Here are three simple ways to bond with your baby that you can practice throughout the day:
- Talking and singing: Talking and singing to your baby allows him to recognise the sound of your voice. You can sing a lullaby before putting him to bed, or explain what you are doing when bathing or changing him.
- Eye contact: Although their eyesight is still developing, newborns can see around 30cm in front of them. Make eye contact with your baby whenever you are holding him. This will help him to recognise your features, and the familiarity of your face will start to soothe him.
- Massage: A baby massage is a great opportunity for skin-to-skin contact. In addition to soothing infant gas and colic, it also encourages body awareness, coordination, and the development of motor skills.
The bond between a parent and his/her child is irreplaceable, and it is easy to nurture that relationship when you turn your daily routines into opportunities for learning and playing together.
Dodie believes in the importance of parent-child bonds. With more than 60 years of experience, Dodie has supported parents’ journey with their baby since 1958 and helped to create special moments between more than 20 million parents and their babies.