21 Precious Ways to Keep Your Baby Bonded to You Forever
Forge an extra-special bond with your baby and keep it strong forever, mums and dads...
The first time you ever saw and held your baby is a moment you will never forget. The bond between mother and child that is created right from the moment you know you are pregnant is something so precious.
Bonding with your child is so much more than creating beautiful memories. It also has strong social, emotional and developmental benefits for your child and health benefits for you.
What are some of the ways you can bond with your sweet baby from the moment he is born, to when he is an infant and beyond?
We give you 21 beautiful ways of bonding with your baby through all these stages.
1. Breastfeed as soon as you can
There’s nothing like the feeling of your newborn cuddled in your arms, suckling at your breast and falling asleep that makes you fall in love even more.
And of course, your little one is getting your precious colostrum, that has innumerable health benefits.
2. Don’t ‘baby burrito’ your newborn
Go skin-to-skin as much as you can, mummies.
The feeling of your baby’s petal-soft skin against yours is exquisite. It also helps keep your baby calmer, facilitates breastfeeding and may ward off the baby-blues.
3. Take a deep whiff of your newborn’s head
This means going against tradition and not putting a hat on your newborn’s head.
Read this article to learn why — the reasons are truly fascinating.
4. Give your newborn a little spa treatment
No mud packs and sugar scrubs for your little angel, please!
Instead, try some baby massage. This will help you bond with your bub and can also be useful to relieve colic and gas in those early days.
5. Look into his eyes
Even though your newborn can’t see you very well yet, he knows your presence and therefore knows you are there.
6. Sleep near your newborn
Whether you choose to co-sleep or not is a personal decision.
But if you choose not to, do consider placing your newborn’s crib in your bedroom so he knows you are near him.
7. Talk and sing to your infant
Babies just love to hear their mummy’s voice, so talk and sing to your precious little one at every given opportunity.
8. Carry and cuddle your infant
Don’t listen to people who tell you that carrying and cuddling your baby a lot is bad for him.
On the contrary, both of these things promote a beautiful bond between you and bubs and assist in his emotional development.
9. Keep breastfeeding
If you can, continue nursing your little darling for more than six months.
It has a heap of health benefits for both of you and sets a strong foundation for a deep bond.
10. Read to him
It’s never too early to start reading to your little bundle of joy.
Reading to your child promotes early literacy development, and draws both of you into a beautiful little ritual that connects you through words and imagination.
11. Have fun with him
As your baby grows older, you’ll start to see a little personality blossom.
Enjoy those adorable smiles and laughs with him, splash him gently during bathtime, and get down during tummy time and interact with him.
12. Wear him
Baby-wearing is a great way of growing a strong emotional bond with your baby.
13. Dance with him
Infants love music and movement and what better way to enjoy this together than to pop your bubba in a sling and boogie away with him?
So much fun and a great way to strengthen your bond.
14. Hugs and kisses for your toddler
Now that your fragile infant is a robust toddler, smother him with kisses and bear hugs before he grows up in a flash and gets too embarrassed by such shows of affection!
15. Create small rituals
Toddlers feel secure with predictability since they are going through such huge developmental changes.
So create little everyday routines – like reading a special book before bedtime, or making his favourite breakfast every Sunday – that will help him feel safe and secure and bring you closer to him.
16. Break your rules occasionally
It’s so easy to get caught in the “NO” trap with toddlers.
Once in a while, surprise him and let him get that chocolate in the supermarket, or that ball in the toyshop.
17. Go outdoors
Take your little one outdoors often, either on quiet nature walks or for boisterous play sessions at the park.
Right now, you are his best friend — and he just loves being with you all the time.
18. Be there when he fails
Some toddlers don’t take it very well when they can’t do a task the way they want to.
Be there for your child during such times. When he is older, he will still turn to you during times of trouble, which is a very good thing.
19. Play interactive games
Make funny faces at each other, ask him to mimic your actions or play peek-a-boo together… queue those adorable smiles and belly laughs!
20. Say hello, goodbye and I’ll be back
If you are planning to leave your toddler in daycare or nursery for the first time, don’t forget to say “bye, I’ll be back for you” when you leave him, and “Hello, I love you” when you go to pick him up.
21. Make time for them
As your child grows up and becomes more independent, it becomes easier for parents to leave their toddler alone for longer periods.
While this is perfectly okay, do remember to dedicate a chunk of quality time each day to spend with them, reminding them that you are always there for them, and love them so very much.
What are some of the special ways with which you bond with your baby? Tell us in a comment below.