During the first year your baby is exploring the world and its relationship with it. One of the key relationships they will discover is the relationship between parent and child. The early stages of bonding can be very influential in overall development and in your future relationship. We think bonding should start from the get-go because of its importance. Here are some simple tips you can take to start the bonding process early:
- Spend as much time with them as possible. Babies take up all of your time already, so how could you spend MORE time with them? It is in the small moments, for instance, instead of putting them in their crib the second they fall asleep in your arms, lay there with them and enjoy their company. You’ll only be able to have so many years where they can fall asleep in your arms so take advantage of it while you can!
- Learn to wear your baby around the house. Use a baby sling to keep baby close to you while walking around the town or the house. Your baby feels safest when they are physically touching you. This is also great to help soothe baby if they are in a fit. The more you do this the more they should recognize that you come to help them when they are sad, uncomfortable, need food, etc. This can be extremely helpful in the bonding process.
- For safety purposes in general it’s recommended to sleep in the same room as your baby for the first six months to a year. We also feel it is very important to do this for bonding. Throughout the year they will learn that when something is wrong, you are the one who fixes it. You, the parent, are the one that makes everything better. This will strengthen the bond immensely since they will see you as their protector, guardian, and their love will grow because of it.
- A baby’s cries can become a unique language to a parent. Start to pay attention to their cries, do they happen around the same time? Is there a cry that is more high-pitched and one that is not? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself because if you can master their cries the result is similar to the last two. They will continue to see you as their savior, the one that comes to them in their greatest time of need.
- Talk to your baby as much as possible. Tell them what the plan is for the day, or how your day was, they will love hearing your voice since it is very recognizable to them. They will begin to respond to the sound of your voice which is a sign of development. One way to start this process early, is through the Bellytunes, which allows you to record your own personal messages and play it for your baby-to-be. This will strengthen the bond even more since it will be during the earliest stages.
The key is making sure your baby understands that no matter what, you are there for them. The more trust they have in you, the better and stronger the bond will be. And remember, these are simply tips to help with bonding, not the keys to success.