Baby Bonding Ideas for Mom and Dad

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on August 13, 2012

There have been a lot of changes in the area of childbirth and childcare since our parents and grandparent's time. Today, we understand the importance of breastfeeding for a child's growth and development. We emphasize the necessity of touch and encourage a hands-on approach when caring for a baby. Hospitals have also changed their attitudes towards childbirth and early childcare. Research indicates that bonding between a parent and a child is of utmost importance in developing a long lasting and caring relationship.


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Countless studies show that bonding with your baby inculcates a feeling of security and safety in your newborn. Babies who bond immediately with their parents show higher levels of self-esteem later on in life. When babies are brought up in a loving, warm, and nurturing environment, it forms an excellent model for other intimate relationships as they grow older.

The importance of baby bonding also extends to the parents. Mothers who spend time with their newborns, feeding them, touching them and playing with them all report feeling more emotionally attached to their babies. Fathers should not be left out of the equation either. While bonding for a mother can be almost automatic, fathers who play an active role in caring for their children, help build feelings of trust and familiarity as well.

While all this may sound great, the reality is that bonding does not happen overnight. Many women who have just given birth may be too overwhelmed with feelings of relief or fear to connect with their baby instantly. This is completely normal. There is no time frame within which successful bonding takes place. Like everything else in life, bonding with your baby can take time and energy and is often the result of a million moments spent looking at, talking to, playing with and holding your little one close. Following are some easy ways mothers and fathers can forge a lasting bond between themselves and their baby…

Ideas for Moms to Bond with Their Baby

  • Hold your baby close: If your hospital allows it, keep your newborn in your room to ensure early contact. Carry your baby around in a sling or papoose when you return home. Even at an early age, your baby recognizes the sound of your heartbeat and voice and responds to your facial expressions.
  • Breast is best: One of the best things you can do for your baby is to breastfeed him or her immediately. The cocoon of calm and security created by a mother's arms and her breast milk is incomparable to any other bonding experience.
  • Entertainers ‘R' Us: Once you have a baby in your life, its time to bring out the bells and whistles and keep him entertained. Tickle his toes, sing him to sleep, read out aloud, or just chat with him as you go about your daily routine. Babies love the sound of your voice and in no time he will be gurgling and
  • Ideas for Dads to Bond with Their Baby responding to you.
  • Spa Time: Massaging your newborn baby is a wonderful way to get to know your little one better. As you gently stroke and massage your baby, he gets accustomed to your scent and touch as well. Infant massages are also excellent ways to relax and calm your child down if he is fussy or distressed.

Needless to say, except for breastfeeding, dads can try all the above tips to bond with their baby. Experts also encourage dads to try the following to reinforce feelings of recognition and bonding with their children:

  • Let your baby lie on your chest and spend some skin-to-skin contact time. This is very helpful for both babies who are born preterm as well as normal healthy babies who need to have contact with their parents to feel safe and secure.
  • Hold your baby in such a way that he can see you eye to eye. Cradle his head in your arms and hold him at chest level to that you can connect with him visually.
  • Dance with your baby. Babies love music so spend time holding them and dancing with them or create a routine by singing songs to them before they sleep.
  • Change your baby's diapers. Getting down to the nitty gritty of a daily routine, dads need to participate in activities such as bathing, cleaning, changing and feeding their baby to feel like an active part of his life.
  • Just remember, this is not a competition. There are ways in which a mother will have the advantage in the bonding process. Post-partum hormones are also responsible for the speed of bonding between mother and child. As a dad you may have to spend a little more time to bond with your baby, but in the end it will be worth all your efforts.
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