Best ways to bond with your newborn
This topic is bound to arise even before your little one arrives. It's something that as a new parent we all want to know what works best to ensure that we are giving our children all they need. If your little one is already here and you are just home from the hospital Congrats!!! Now it's setting in that you have a new life to care for and maybe you are thinking...holy cow...where do we start? Breathe! Relax in knowing that first of all you are not alone, and secondly things will get easier. Speaking from experience and a mother of 2. I had my children 11 months apart.. That make you raise your eyebrows? LOL Good! Although I think that twins would have been easier. As my son was just 11 months and pulling himself up onto things when we brought my daughter home. What did I do? I bonded as best as I knew how and took one day at a time.
Being a NEW parent means that you don't have to know everything. Trial and error is normal and it is okay to feel depressed, exhausted and defeated some days. After all you have just expanded your family unit and your sole energy goes into providing every ounce of care for this tiny demanding, loud human. Here are 5 ways to help with bonding so that you feel more connected and hopefully more in control. Because, let's face it, there will be more than one occasion where you don't feel in control. Babies have a mind of their own and an agenda all their own. When those days come, we roll with the punches and try anything up your sleep to soothe baby.
5 Ways to help with bonding:
Skin to Skin- yes your L&D, Doula,Midwife knows what he or she is talking about. Babies feel most secure and comforted when there is skin to skin contact. Your natural body temperature will soothe your little one and it's an amazing emotional connection for the both of you. Your hormones will relax your body and babies have this 6th sense which is phenomenal. When you are calm and collected (even if you don't feel it) they will relax too. Especially if they ave a full tummy and a dry bum.
Get to know your baby- the skin to skin time helps immensely and its during this time that you can take in the little cues that your little one does. The little sounds they make, the way their chest rises and falls in a deep sleep, the way you swaddle a baby (hands tucked in or hands tucked out), soother or no soother, bounced gently or rocked, the way you softly soothe their forehead or hairline to ease them back to sleep. All these are unique to every baby. Not every baby is comfortable with all the above. So don't be afraid to try something and if it doesn't work, move on.
Baby wearing- both mom and dad's can do this and when done properly and safely reaps the rewards of a happy baby and happy (but tired) parents. What's the best way to do so? This topic I will go into more detail about in another blog post. Safety first! Always. Research together on what best suits your babies needs as well as your own. When snuggled and secure...enjoy getting outside and doing things together.
Shared feeding-whether mom is getting used to breastfeeding exclusively, topping up with a bottle or bottle alone, there are a lot of ways dad's can help share this task too. Talk to each other, help and support each other. Remember this is ALL new for both of you. Frustration and exhaustion play a huge part, but one day at a time. There are breastfeeding clinics, support groups and most importantly talk to friends and family to see what worked best for them. I am sure there will be many laughs and yes tears too. Work to support one another and be patient.
Talk to your baby- sing, play music, and instrument. Your baby knows your voice. In fact day old babies have this innate skill they are born with that allows them to tell the difference between rhythms. Music in the background, played or even mom or dad singing will soothe your baby.
You can educate yourself with books and videos and listen to all the tales that grandma's, aunts and girlfriends throw at you.But at the end of the day you will soon realize what works best for you. After all babies do not come with a manual. Enjoy this special time together, because before you know it...it's all high fives and fist bumps lol!