How Partners Can Bond With Baby
We often put a lot of emphasis on mother and baby bonding and how we can work to improve it. But we always seem to overlook the importance of partners bonding with their babies.
This is one of the reasons we often see partner-baby relationships not being as strong as we’d like them to be early on. It’s important that partners work on their relationship with their children soon, so they can build a strong, healthy relationship later.
What Is Bonding?
Bonding or more specifically emotional bonding is having a wordless, healthy connection between two individuals.
When talking in terms of parent-child relationships, it’s about establishing a bond that makes your child feel secure and helps them be nurtured in a safe and healthy environment. Bonding also helps your child trust you with their problems and respect you and your opinions as they grow.
What Happens If You Don’t Bond Right Away?
We know that mothers can begin bonding with their babies in utero, as early as 18 weeks onwards, when babies start recognizing their mother’s voice. This is one of the reasons why babies recognize and trust their mothers soon after they’re born.
Similarly, partners need to begin bonding with their babies early on or they’ll lose this golden time where their baby begins to establish an emotional connection. As a partner, you should start bonding with your baby soon after birth because this is when your baby starts registering faces and voices.
If you wait too long to bond with your baby, it will be more difficult to establish the bond.
What Are The Best Ways To Bond?
1. Snuggle As Much As You Can
One of the things you can do from the very beginning is cuddle your baby as much as you can! It’s even better to establish skin-to-skin contact if possible because this is when your baby’s motor neurons are super sensitive!
They instantly pick up on cues and recognize touch. It also has a number of other benefits such as reducing the baby’s stress levels, regulating their blood sugar levels, and regulating their body temperature. Cuddling also helps release oxytocin in your body, which is the love hormone that helps establish an emotional connection.
2. Get Involved
Remember, as a partner you need to parent your baby and not just babysit them! You can do this by getting involved with your baby early on. Help change their diapers, help with bathing them and help with feeding time.
Other than this, sing to them, read to them and calm them down when they cry. This is not only your responsibility but plays an important role in helping your baby trust you.
3. Wake Up With Your Baby
Babies are often in their best mood right when they wake up. Wake up when they do to have some exclusive partner-baby time with them. Take this time to sing to them, talk to them, anything that works for you!
4. Take The Night Shifts
As a parent, it’s important to take equal responsibility and share the parenting with your partner. Take the wheel by offering to take the night shifts with your baby some days when you can. It’s a time when it’s going to be just you and your baby so you can really use the time to bond.
5. Establish Your Own Rituals
As your baby grows, you can establish your own rituals with them. It can be bedtime stories, Sunday breakfast, ice cream parties on weekends, and whatever else you like.
It will give your child something to look forward to and will also give you a nice way to incorporate yourself into their daily lives.
Looking for ways to bond with your baby sooner, throughout your partner’s pregnancy? Check out this post for some ideas!