There’s no feeling quite like bringing home your baby for the first time – you’re excited, you’re tired, you’re nervous and no one has given you a handbook on how to do this. The first few weeks, we always advise parents to just relax, soak up all the good times that come with the new-born baby bubble and focus on bonding with baby. We all know the basics – that breastfeeding is a great way to bond, but we want to provide some ideas for both parents. Building secure attachments is important for baby’s development both now and in later life. Here are some ways for parents to bond with their new-born.
Eye contact is connection that both parties can understand. When you are feeding baby, either with breast or bottle, make sure you are taking credit for that caregiving by maintaining eye contact. This helps solidify who you are to baby. It’s also important generally, whilst you’re playing and talking, to connect this way.
Skin-to-skin is now a key part of the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative Standards and helps baby adjust to life outside the womb, whilst still maintaining closeness to mum and dad. Regularly hold baby to your bare chest for an hour or so to keep both of you calm, regulate baby’s heart rate and breathing, stimulate baby’s digestion, regulate temperature, enable colonisation of baby’s skin with friendly bacteria to protect against infection and to aid growth and development. This time is so precious and really helps connect you.
Breathe Them in
That delicious baby smell that everyone talks about is not just a myth! It’s actually clever evolution manipulating your hormones and helping you bond to baby, so don’t be afraid to breathe it all in and let nature do its work!
You’ll find yourself changing all the time from your voices to your expressions and how you play – it’s a good thing! Don’t be afraid to be a little silly and do all you can to win over a smile from baby.
So, what if they don’t understand you just yet? Talking to your baby about anything and everything actually helps their development. Whilst you’re talking and bonding, baby is learning words and tones of voice.
Above all else, remember to enjoy it! Being a parent to a new-born is not easy, everything seems a bit new and difficult at first, you’ve got impossibly high standards to do everything perfectly the first time and all the while you’re battling the new schedule and a tiredness you’ve never felt before. But these times, when it’s all new and they’re so little and you’re in this strange experience together are the best times of your life. Make sure you slow down, take it all in and try to remember these times – you’ll really miss them when they’re gone!
At Chelsea Birth Clinic, we have a dedicated staff of doctors and midwives offering one-to-one care and expert guidance, private maternity care, ultrasound scans, Caesarean sections and women’s wellness care. We’re here for you to provide a safe, comfortable and positive birth experience. Find out more here.