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8 Ways to Bond With Your Newborn

Jan 15 2010 - 7:00am

There's no bond quite as strong as that between mother and child. Once a baby enters the world, it is just assumed that mum and newborn will gaze into each other's eyes and fall in love. For some this is the case, but for many others, the relationship isn't quite as natural. If mommy needs some help feeling that connection, she can take a tip from these eight pointers.

Wear Your Baby

Keeping baby on mom will allow him to continue feeling the attachment he felt in the womb. Before strollers, swings, and baby seats, our ancestors had few options other than holding their babies. Using a sling [1] or baby carrier [2] will mimic that closeness.

Make Eye Contact

Just as adults rely on eye contact to know that someone is actually hearing them, babies use it to establish a connection. Making frequent eye contact with a newborn will reassure her and allow her to link your sound and smell with your face.

Infant Massage

Show your baby just how much you care with a relaxing massage. Turn off the TV, the loud music, and the ringer on your phone and just focus on your newborn. The quiet time will be appreciated by both the masseuse and the recipient!

Hold Them Close

One benefit nursing mothers have over bottle-feeding ones is the amount of time they are required to hold their newborns. The average breastfeeding session lasts a good half hour, while bottle feeding can be much faster. By spending more time with baby in your arms, you can create the same sense of security that a nursing mother does, allowing baby to take in your smell and warmth for the same amount of time.

Show a Little Skin

Breastfeeding mothers spend a significant amount of time baring some skin for their lil ones. By simply stripping baby down to her diaper and placing her on your bare chest, you can mimic the skin-to-skin contact that your nursing counterparts experience.

Sing to Your Heart's Content

Even if you usually reserve your singing for the shower, don't be afraid to start belting out your favorite tunes for baby. After nine months inside you, your baby is calmed and comforted by your voice. So start singing away and know that while you might not be the next American Idol [3], you are a superstar in your baby's mind.

Join a Mom's Group

Socializing with other new moms with like-aged tots provides support and encouragement during the sleep-deprived first months of motherhood.

Relax

There's no denying that the first weeks with a new baby are stressful. Taking time for yourself, be it a half-hour walk or an hour-long pedicure, will leave you relaxed, recharged, and less likely to feel tense around the baby.


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