Written by: Cindy Banun
The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion that needs to be celebrated. As parents, we are always eager to interact and get to know them better. In fact, bonding is important for our children’s development.
Importance of Baby Bonding
According to an article written by Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, forging an attachment with your baby is important so that it allows the baby to experience a strong emotional connection and physical connection with parents. A strong bond between parents and baby allows the release of hormones and chemicals in the brain that encourage rapid brain growth. It also allows the growth of brain cells that are critical for learning, so that they are able to enter healthy relationships with others. Through bonding, their senses develop and they learn more about the world around them.
Here are 5 ways you can use to bond with your baby:
1. Breastfeeding and Physical Touch
Bonding with your baby isn’t always easy, but there are lots of ways to help it happen. Moms have it easier because breastfeeding is a form of bonding with the baby. It promotes skinship between mother and baby, thus allowing bonding and attachment to happen. The gentle stroking and touching that happens between baby and mother also aid in increasing the senses of the baby.
You may see that your baby is gradually becoming responsive to you when it is feeding time, especially if you see your baby looking at you and gurgling and making noises when they are hungry.
Another method to bond with your baby is to give them baby massages. Baby massages give adequate physical contact required by your baby. Additionally, it is also useful to relieve bloating and ‘wind’. We recommend using TYT’s MDU Oil for your baby massage as it is non-irritating and safe for the baby’s delicate skin. Click here to learn the correct baby massaging technique.
Another way for parents to bond with their baby is through speaking. Start with some words, particularly things that are regularly used by your baby. For example: your baby’s favourite toy, baby blanket, baby cot, milk bottle, bath and so on. Accompany these words with actions so that your baby will gradually learn the words and associate them with the activities.
Although talking with your baby may seem awkward at first, your baby will gradually respond, especially with things that your baby likes. They may react to certain words with coos and smiles. As the bond between you and your baby improves, your baby will become more receptive to your voice, sometimes instantly calming down when they are upset. Listening to you talk also helps your baby to learn languages much more easily.
Let’s take it a step further by singing to your baby. Some good choices are nursery rhymes. There are specific baby books with nursery rhymes with cartoon illustrations and thick sturdy pages. These books are made to withstand a baby’s rough handling or any chewing habits.
The pictures in a nursery rhyme book can be a way for you to interact with your baby as you sing and point to the pictures so that your baby can follow along accordingly.
Singing is a fun way to engage your baby as it is a catchy way for your baby to learn new words or phrases. Your baby may even start to associate specific songs with a character or animal. Particularly if the nursery rhyme features a main character like a farmer, bear, birds and so on.
4. Playing games
Photo by Ксения from Pexels
Games are another way to bond and engage with your baby. It can be something easy that you do with your baby at home while doing chores. For example, playing peek-a-boo while folding fresh laundry instead of using your hands, or a show-and-tell with things at home. Try showing your baby some photo albums as well if you have them lying around. You can take this time to introduce your friends and family, although only through a photo.
As your baby grows, you can let him/her play in your backyard as you watch over your baby. Carry your baby and let them touch the leaves and see the scenery outside. If the ground is safe enough, you can let your baby crawl on the grass and let your baby learn by expanding their senses.
5. Eye contact and gestures
Did you know? Making eye contact and gestures is a great way to distract, entertain and bond with your baby. That’s because babies are very intrigued with our facial expressions. They are fascinated with how our faces can change in an instant. Gesturing at babies is also a way to grab their attention. We can always redirect the frustrations of a sad or angry baby by pointing at something interesting. For example, bright signs, birds, flowers and so on. We can also use our hands to make gestures, such as making hand shadows, or to reach out and pat, wave or give your baby a handshake.
Parenthood is a journey of discovery. For some, the joy of raising a child comes instantly; for others, it takes time. For some, becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. For others, it’s just a job. However, it is all worth the effort because we have the power to change and affect the upbringing of our own children. We as parents have the responsibility and honour of moulding another human being to be the best version of themselves.