Small actions and interactions with your baby will give you memories for a lifetime. Bonding is an important human instinct that gives babies a sense of security and self-esteem. It also helps parents feel connected to their newest family member.
Nothing beats physical intimacy. Parents are advised to spend time cuddling the baby and if possible, sometimes even co-sleeping with the baby. Skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye contact is believed to cement bonding, too. Massaging the baby is also believed to nurture a sweet physical bond between you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is yet another intimate affair. It goes beyond the physical aspect of lactating and feeding the baby and involves building a sense of companionship and closeness. Other daily activities of feeding the baby, bathing her, carrying her around, changing her clothes, and even diapering allow you both to bond with each other more intimately.
One more important trait to keep in mind is to “listen”. Most of us may disregard what the baby tries to say or the noise she makes at infancy, but paying attention to her squeals, specialists say, helps the baby in identifying more with her parents and caregivers.
Also, try talking to them. We all know that they will not be able to decipher what you say or reply to you, but the mere gesture of you trying to make an effort of involving them in conversations with you will connect your baby with you and increase the trust they have in you.
Every parent is not able to cope up equally well with the new entrant into the family. Some may feel too overwhelmed, some may feel nervous, and some unnerved at the thought of the sudden and huge responsibility that they now have to bear. In such cases, it is even more important that the parents take more proactive measures to associate with their baby.
It is important to also talk to your partner about all that you feel and go through. Even if that involves talking about feelings of distance or detachment from your baby, that you may experience in some extreme cases. Postpartum depression is for real and can cause rifts in your relationship with your baby or other members of the family. Seek professional counselling in severe cases.
But in most cases, bonding does not require external made-up efforts. It is merely a by-product of everyday care-giving. It becomes a natural process, so much so that you would soon observe your baby’s first smile and suddenly realize that you have a similar smile up your face and you are filled with selfless love and joy.