Bonding with your baby can be a special moment that you will never get back, or you’ll think of fondly as your teenager yells at you that you’re ruining her life and slams every door in your face. Those times are not meant for bonding, they’re meant for wine and a little Keeping up with the Kardashians. But, your baby is new and making you feel as if you’re on top of the world. There are all kinds of ways you can bond with your baby, and a lot will come from just spending quality time together. Others can start as early as your pregnancy. Here are some great ways you can bond with your newborn baby.
15 Start With Your Bump
Pregnancy can be a great time for mothers, or it could be a complete nightmare. Either way, this is a great time to start to get to know your baby and begin that bonding journey. Everything to do, what you eat, what you drink, how much you sleep, and how often or not you exercise affects your pregnancy, your health, and your baby. Trying to watch what you eat while also paying mind that there is a tiny human growing inside of you can stress you out. Talk to your baby, and learn how they react, whether or not they’re kicking or moving around.
14 Cuddle Time
Skin-to-skin contact is a great bonding agent for you and your baby. You’ll instantly feel closer to him/her, feeling a connection and comfort from holding your child. Your baby will feel the same and will begin to associate you with comfort and happiness. Besides, what feels better than holding a baby close? Cuddle up for a light nap.
13 Take Your Baby Outside
You’re already getting plenty of time with your new babe, but by taking short walks outside (dressing accordingly for the frigid chill, or spending only minutes if it’s a warmer day), your baby will thank you for this in their own way. Sitting inside day after day gets a little--well--boring. Your baby will sense your agitation to get out and do things, and will begin to feel bored themselves. Exposing them to new things can create a great bonding experience.
What’s more important than reading to your child? Your baby may not be able to talk, or even understand most things just yet but why not sit down and read to your child? You can start with a children’s book or two, or even just read a chapter out of your own book. Perhaps leave those romance novels out of this equation…
11 Playgroups Are Not the Devil
Stressed out and tired mothers sitting around while their children run free and wreak havoc on whoever got stuck hosting this week may not sound appealing. However, having your child around other children is a great bonding experience, and is great for socializing. Not only will you get a break from mommy-and-me time but they’ll be exposed to other children, helping form social skills.
10 Take a Bath
You have to bathe your baby, right? And, those lavender scented baby bath time washes are just too good to pass up yourself. So, jump right on in there and snuggle up with your baby. Breathe in the stress relieving lavender scent, and redeem some quality time with your baby. Worried about you falling asleep in a relaxing bath with your babe? Their own quick bath before bed is still a great way to bond. And after your baby's bath, you can sink into the tub with a book and a glass of wine.
9 Understand Your Baby’s Cries
A baby’s cry can be just like figuring out a dog’s bark. One may sound similar to another but mean a completely different thing. Listen to what your baby is trying to tell you. Eventually, you will figure it out, feeling closer to your baby. It may even start to feel like a code between you two. Knowing exactly what your baby needs anytime she cries is a great way to feel completely bonded with your child.
8 Keep Yourself Happy
If you’re not happy and are just a stressed out mess of a person, your baby is going to pick up on this no matter how hard you try. This can be tough for you but by making specific ‘me’ moments throughout the day or a full day a week, you’ll actually become a better nurturer. No one can take care of others without taking care of themselves first.
7 Baby Slings
They may look like intense contraptions designed to kill you and your baby, and may take hours to put one on (the first few times) but they’re a great way to bond with your baby. Your baby will be close to your heart, and will literally be attached to you. This is also a great way to get things done around the home while putting in some quality baby time.
6 Try Something New With Your Child
Try something you would have done before you had a child. Babies are great to take places that normally wouldn’t allow/desire children, such as restaurants, museums, or public transportation. Unless finicky, sick, or just plain fussy that day, your baby most likely won’t disturb anyone. They’ll probably make the other patrons day, with everyone cooing all over him/her.
5 Everyday Toys
Just like cats, babies don’t care if you spent $200 on a fine bed or a toy. Instead, they’re happy with the box that came from Amazon. While no one will ever understand that conundrum, just go with it! Not having to spend hundreds on toys to keep your baby happy and content should be cause for celebration. Besides, this is a great time to show your baby just how creative and impressive you can be.
4 Take a Trip Together
Trips are always fun. Trips with children can be a little messy. Trips with babies? Extra luggage. Lots of extra luggage. Before you start to complain about having to pack up the entire house just to head out on a little vacation with your baby in tow, think about how great it will be watching your baby explore a new city, town, or if you’re really adventurous, country. Lucky enough to have great friends or relatives? Invite them along to give you a babysitting break a day or two out of the trip!
3 Jammies Are the Best
What’s the most comfortable outfit you own? It’s got to be your jammies, right? And, you probably have a favorite set for summer nights and for winter nights. Everyone loves to be comfortable, and babies are not excluded from this list. Instead of worrying how much housework, grocery shopping, or educational playtime you will be able to get done today, take a little rest and keep you and your baby in snuggly jammies.
2 Be Silly
Dancing around and singing to your baby is a great way to form a bonding moment. Just look at Rachel and Ross singing a little Sir-Mix-A-Lot to their baby, Emma. They may look ridiculous, and feel ridiculous (if only in the beginning) but if it makes their baby happy they’re willing to do it. If you’re willing to do nearly anything to make your baby happy, jump around, sing silly songs, and engage in playful activities.
1 Keep Calm
So it seems like your baby just doesn’t care and the bonding experience just isn’t going so well. Okay, no big deal. It may take longer than you anticipated but you’ll get there in the end. Use every moment you’re together to bond with your child, letting him/her slowly correlate you with happiness and comfort. Remember, no one likes a try hard. So, take some time out for yourself, take a deep breath, and come at it again the next day.