This article explains why bonding with a new baby is not always instant and provides more strategies to encourage the connection.
How to Connect with Your Baby
Bonding with your baby means connecting with her at a deep emotional level. Your bond with your baby may begin when you first meet her or it may take a bit before a bond begins to develop. Either way, your connection with your baby will grow and develop over a period of months.
As you grow closer to your baby and learn to read and respond to his cues, your bond will strengthen. Bonding is what helps you understand your baby’s needs and drives you to respond with loving attention even in the early morning hours. Bonding is important for your baby because it teaches him to trust you. Having a trusting, connected relationship with a caregiver is essential to a child’s healthy development. With your love and attention, your baby will learn to feel safe and secure. A baby who has a strong bond with their caregivers will grow and thrive.
Here are some ways to connect with your baby during your daily interactions:
Make eye-to-eye contact while feeding, changing, or playing with your baby. He enjoys looking at your face and will probably spend a long time looking at you. When you return this eye contact, you are letting your baby know that you care about him and his needs.
Talk to your baby every day. While she won’t respond to your conversations with words, you will notice that she does listen to you and respond through facial expressions and movements over time. Talk to your baby about your day, narrate your everyday interactions with her, or just make up stories as you play. You will find that your baby is a great listener!
Touch your baby often to build your connection with him. Take time to intentionally hold and touch him in a loving manner. Physical contact can be very comforting to an infant and can help your child feel close to you. Baby massage is a great way to thoughtfully touch your baby in a manner that is both soothing and enjoyable to your child.
By thoughtfully including eye-to-eye contact, touch, and talking into your everyday activities with your baby, you will find him more engaged. Over time these actions will draw you both closer and help to build the essential bond between parent and child.