While many new mums have no issues bonding with their new baby, for any number of reasons others can find it more difficult.
Problems bonding with your baby can have a significant impact on a parent’s self-esteem. It can also leave you feeling alone and isolated.
If that sounds familiar, don’t worry. There are several things you can do that will help you ‘fake it till you make it’, and a real connection with your baby will come.
Your public health nurse (health visitor) is there to support you, so do talk to them if you’re finding things hard.
Spend one-on-one time
Whenever you get the chance to spend some time alone with your baby, make the most of it by playing and having fun together. Read stories, play with soft toys or just spend time having a cuddle and talking to your baby.
Sing to Your Baby
Singing songs and nursery rhymes is a great way to bond with your baby as constantly hearing your voice helps to build a trusting relationship between the two of you.
Dance to your favourite music
Turn on your favourite tunes and rock and sway with your baby in your arms. They will love the motion of dancing as you cradle them as well as the stimulation that the music offers too.
Mimic your baby's sounds
Every time you engage and interact with your baby, you’re stimulating their senses. By mimicking the sounds they make, you’re letting them know that they matter and will also encourage them to carry on making those sounds as well as new ones too.
Laugh and play together
Having a baby gives you the chance to bring out your inner child, so blow bubbles, play a game of peek-a-boo, build and knock down towers and have just have some fun together.
Comfort through touch
Touch is one of the first senses to develop, so comforting your baby through touch can be one of the most effective methods of calming and soothing them. It also helps your baby become more secure and trusting when they are around you.
Have lots of eye contact
Let your baby look and touch your face, as well as looking in your eyes, as doing so is very important to your baby and will help build an amazing relationship between the two of you.
Talk and read
Your baby will love the sound of your voice, so don’t be afraid to talk and read to them all day long. The tone and emotion in your voice as well as the speed at which you speak will have more impact than the words you are saying at this stage.
As they get older, consistently hearing your voice and taking in the words you are saying will eventually help them learn how to speak.
Have lots of cuddles
Having lots of cuddles is a great way to connect with your baby as they’ll be able to hear your heartbeat, feel the warmth of your body and touch your skin too.
When you go out, using a sling, wrap or front/back carrier can also maintain this closeness.
Give your baby a soothing bath
Bath time is a great time to connect with your baby as you’ll be spending time together in a very calm and relaxing environment.
Each and every time you hold, feed, change or bathe your baby, you’re stimulating their senses and building that all important relationship between you.