After a tiring day at work, what drives you to compromise your sleep late at night? Just to change your baby’s diapers or instead feed him or her? It is the bonding with your baby, filled with an affection that keeps you awake when the ones awake are only the stars twinkling in the sky! So, in this article, let us find out ways to bond with your baby.
As you know, human babies are very dependent on their parents from birth. So, bonding serves a crucial aspect of the developmental process of your baby.
Neurobiology and psychology suggest that parental inconsistency, negligence, and lack of love decreases overall potential and happiness that contributes to your baby’s long-term mental health problems. Parents (who are also known as primary caretakers) develop a unique relationship with their children, known as bonding. Bonding stimulates a positive self-esteem sense of well being and security among the children. It is essential to develop emotional bonding activities with your baby.
Many scientists have done a lot of research about bonding and attachment of parents and their young ones. In fact, bonding and affection do not start just after your baby is born. Your love and bonding with your baby slowly begin when you receive the first kicks in your tummy during your pregnancy or when you are ecstatic by looking at the ultrasound screen. So let us find out together how to bond with your baby.
What are bonding and attachment with newborns?
Bonding is the cherished attachment between the parents and their newborn, filled with love, warmth, and care. Bonding helps your child to develop in an intellectually, socially, and emotionally sound manner. The Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development published a landmark report in 2000 which recognized the importance of attachment and bonding for a child’s complete developmental process.
A scientific study suggests that parents’ brains acknowledge differently to their young ones crying than the minds of non-parents, who are influenced by the cognitive process. However, you should know or have a basic idea of how to bond with your newborn.
Why is bonding important?
Infancy is the pivotal point of your child’s life for brain development. Bonding helps an individual to develop his or her self esteem. A study conducted among fathers signified that connections in the brain that supports caregiving increase at the rate of hours when they are directly employed for caring for their babies.
Bonding with your newborn helps your baby to grow physically, socially, and emotionally. It also helps parents feel connected to their bundle of joy.
Bonding and attachment serve as the foundation for your baby’s entire developmental procedure. When you smile or cuddle your newborn, their brain releases hormones that aid your baby’s brain to grow. The process of attachment and bonding releases endorphins in your body, making you feel happy, motivated, cheerful, and gives you energy.
Developing attachment and emotional bonding activities with your baby might take a lot of time and effort but trust me, the outcome is worth waiting. It maintains emotional balance and develops fulfilling relationships. Attachment makes your baby self-assured and also helps them to cope up with despair and disappointment.
How long should the bonding process take?
Bonding is a continuous and lengthy procedure, and it varies in different cases. Quite a few times, a quicker bond is created between you and your lovely young one as you fall in love with your newborn. Still, in some cases, it takes time ranging from few weeks to several months when you have undergone painful labor, or if there were problems related to your baby’s health or the lack of oxytocin hormones in your body.
Many mothers suffer from postnatal depression, which hampers the smooth development of an attachment and ways to bond with baby. Postnatal depression is curable, so you must take help from a psychologist who can guide you to treat depression with therapy and medicine, which will help you overcome it. You should also feel alarmed after a few days of detachment and exasperation with your baby, and if the case is so, you should promptly consult a doctor and seek help from experts, friends, relatives, and your partner.
Understanding your newborn’s bonding behavior
Bonding serves as one of the most satisfying experiences in you and your partner’s life. Each child has different requirements. You have to find out which bonding atmosphere and ways to bond with your baby would be the ideal one for your little one.
Try to create a warm and peaceful bonding environment for your child. Do interact a lot with your newborn. Regularly give your baby a massage. Try to indulge yourself in the exchange of non-verbal emotional cues with your baby. The bonding and attachment with your baby allow your baby to communicate their feelings to you, build up trust, and eventually learn to trust others during his or her lifetime.
Effective ways to bond with your baby
Bonding with your newborn is the natural process by which the young ones feel nurtured, taken care of, and protected by their caregivers. Secure attachment does not take place instantly, as it is a continuous bonding process between you and your baby. With the slow passage of time, it becomes a lot easier to communicate and bond with your baby.
Don’t be confused about how to bond with your newborn. Bonding and attachment with your baby is a non-verbal procedure. Let us find out about bonding activities for parents and children.
● Try to accommodate yourself in the same room with your baby at the hospital itself. Sleeping in the same room with your baby might help in the process of strengthening the bond with your baby.
● Sing any song for your baby. You don’t have to be an expert in singing; just sing your favorite song or the lullaby which you do recall from your long, lost childhood days.
● Give your baby a comfortable body massage.
● If your baby is a premature one, seek permission from the nurses or other hospital staff to hold and touch your baby, which would ultimately help both bond.
● Keep eye contact with your baby while you breastfeed him/her.
● Try holding your baby’s hands.
● Research suggests that newborn babies can comprehend a smile, so don’t forget to look towards your baby and smile; your child will love it.
● Bonding occurs when the ambiance is relaxed and calm, so try to avoid crowding in your baby’s room.
● Show your little one a lot of funny and unusual faces.
● Stroke your newborn’s cheek.
● Try rocking or cradling your baby.
● Try to introduce solid, bright colors in front of your baby.
● Though your baby does not understand the concept of reflection, try looking at the mirror with your baby as they will comprehend human faces.
● Try to respond every time your baby cries and make your baby assured that you are always there for the little one for his every single distress.
● A process called kangaroo care, which is often related to premature babies, is a procedure of skin-to-skin contact with your little one. Such activities to bond with your child are mostly helpful.
● Hold your baby in your arms or in the carrier close to your body, facilitating your bonding and attachment with your baby.
● Your partner should be present in the delivery room and take part in the delivery procedure to strengthen the father-daughter or father-son bonding.
● Try to listen to your little one’s heartbeat; it is a different feeling altogether.
● Do swaddle your baby correctly, which would help the little one to secure a good sleep.
● Try to provide secure and good neck support while you are holding your baby.
● Do converse a lot with the newborn, tell him stories, how exactly your day has been, about the dreams you have nurtured for your baby, how much you love your baby, etc.. These activities to bond with your baby might make the bond you share with your little one a powerful one.
● Dress up your little one.
● Ask your partner to bathe your baby, take a few nights feeding, and change the diaper, which would facilitate a unique bond with your baby.
● Try to mimic your baby’s cooing and other vocalizations.
● You can read something for your baby, which would help the little one to identify your voice.
● Try to use the front baby carrier for all sorts of routine activity.
These are some of the ways to bond with your baby, which might have cleared your doubts about how to bond with newborn.
When bonding and attachment aren’t easy?
Do not be worried if bonding with your newborn is being delayed. Sometimes, bonding with newborn takes time. Let us find out about those situations which disrupt the bonding activities for parents and child.
● A few conditions might delay your bonding with the baby, such as your exhaustion, painful, or difficult labor.
● Your mental stress about new responsibilities also might hamper your bonding with your lovely little one. So you should avoid mental stress, take a deep breath or some time away for yoga, meditation, try to get some help from your family members, and make sure to get yourself enough sleep.
● Any sort of problem-related to your child’s health also hinders bonding.
● Postpartum depression might bar you from bonding with your baby quickly and smoothly.
● A past pregnancy or loss of a child can also hamper bonding.
● When newborns are in an intensive care unit, the complexity of the vast number of machines and equipment might make you bewildered and frightened but don’t worry, you would be able to overcome it slowly and steadily.
● Hormones like oxytocin affect social signals’ prominence, which makes parents more attentive to what makes their child happy or gloomy. Women with higher oxytocin levels have more connectivity to the brain’s reward centers, which suggests that they enjoyed it more. Oxytocin permits women to have more brain regions related to empathy and less activity in the amygdala, a brain region involved in anxiety.
● Oxytocin is released when you hold or touch your baby frequently, oxytocin is increased, and when you are prevented from holding or touching your baby, oxytocin decreases. When you have a high oxytocin level in your body, you can bond with your baby at an increased rate compared to the mothers who have low levels of oxytocin in their bodies.
● Lack of maternity and paternity leave also hinders bonding among a child and his or her parents.
● Many parents have also gained much help from watching videos of other parents bond with their babies, which you might try.
This might help you in the bonding activities with parents and child.
Ways to bond with your baby conclusion
Having a supportive family and a healthy environment makes the bonding process with your baby a lot easier as it instills confidence in you. You should not worry about how to bond with your baby. You can spend some quality time with our baby by playing with him or her, by cuddling them or letting them hold your hands. You need to find out the cues given by your baby to develop a bonding relationship with him or her. Bonding and attachment make the relationship between you and your baby a powerful one. You need to find out how to bond with your baby and explore the parent-child relationship as much as possible.