If you have been following my column on Good Times 2, you must know my wife and I have been obsessed with building a close bond with our baby ever since we first learned we were going to be parents. The day she was born, our desire to be close to our baby became stronger than ever. Why bonding? Although scientists are still learning a lot about bonding, it is known the strong ties between parents and their child provide the baby’s first model for intimate relationships and foster a sense of security and positive self-esteem. Parents’ responsiveness to an infant’s signals can affect his or her social and cognitive development.
Here are ways to bond with your baby which we have found effective (and it makes our Athena give a heart-melting smile).
Before you start bonding with the baby, first you have to understand how babies bond with parents. Eye-to-eye contact provides meaningful communication at close range. Babies can following moving objects with their eyes -Yes, even the newborn can see- he or she tries to imitate your facial expressions (I stuck my tongue out at my little Athena, and she did it back to me). Studies have also proved that babies love to imitate so have fun coming up with goofy facial expressions.
Go for skin-to-skin (touch)
When should you begin to hold your baby with your body next to theirs? The answer is as soon as you can after birth. Take about 30 minutes holding them in a calm and peaceful surrounding. Ignore the myth that picking up babies spoils them because that has been proved false. Breastfeeding is another important way to build the close bond between the mother and baby. Giving your baby a gentle massage also does the trick!
Chat, smile and make faces
Babies can also hear and will enjoy listening to conversations between his or her parents.
Of course, your baby does not understand you, but he or she recognises your voice. According to scientists, as a baby develops in the womb, it already can hear sounds while nestled in the mother’s womb and can recognise tone and intonation of their parents. So you can have a conversation with them or even read them some stories.
Sing and dance
It could be a nursery rhyme or song AND it does not have to be sung in tune. Your baby will enjoy listening to them when they see you enjoying doing the activity. They will look forward to your jam sessions. If singing is not your thing, try dancing round the room while your baby is watching. Or better yet, carry them in your arms and dance with them. This can be relaxing and many will love being twirled around in your arms. This can be a great stress reliever as it triggers feel-good hormones in your body.
There are many simple games you can play with your baby. They will not only find this amusing and fun but games also teach them important things for social development.
They include Peek-a-boo, Mommy See, Mommy Do (imitating your baby’s sound), Shake, Rattle, and Roll (Try shaking her rattle as she watches you. You can then move it out of her sight and continue to rattle it after you’re sure you have her attention) and the list goes on. Bonding with your child is something that will give you hours of fun as each and every day you learn something new about your baby and vice versa.
- Tags: baby