For some new parents bonding with your newborn doesn't happen overnight.
For some new parents bonding with a newborn doesn't happen overnight. Becoming a parent can be overwhelming, hormones are rife, there can be a huge mix of emotions. Try not to worry too much, some mums feel it from the moment their baby is born, others can take weeks or sometimes months - so go easy on yourself.
Here are some tips to help you bond with your baby:
- Lots of skin-to-skin. Hold your baby as close as you possibly can. Human touch is soothing for both mum and baby. It's been proven that a short ten minutes of skin-to-skin contact can reduce your babies levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases their levels of the oxytocin. Oxytocin stimulates the nervous system which makes your baby feel safe and calm.
- Listen to her cues. Babies have their own little language, each cry means something. Listening to her can help you figure out whether she needs to a nappy change, when she's tired or when she needs a top-up of milk.
- Breastfeed if you can. Breastfeeding can play a huge role in forming a deep attachment between mother and baby. It's not all about nutrition, it releases oxytocin, a hormone in your body that promotes relaxation as well as feelings of love and attachment.
- Wear Your Baby. Carrying your baby brings a feeling of warmth, you will both get to know each other's smell, movements and she will be close enough to hear your heartbeat. Carrying a baby in a sling safely mimics the feeling your baby felt when she was in your uterus and this is very comforting for her in those first few weeks.
- Massage Her. Massage is an excellent way to calm and soothe your baby, it also relaxes muscles and increases circulation. It even encourages the release of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone and works wonders for babies with colic.
Don't forget about dad, he can use these tips too - although maybe not the breastfeeding one.