How do I know if I’m bonding with my baby?
For new parents looking to grow the bond with a new baby, CareNectar expert Mirella Alexis shares guidance to help bring mother and baby closer together.
I am a new mom, but not sure if I am bonding with my baby. Is this something that happens automatically, or is there something more I should be doing?
Great question, thanks for asking!
Society often thinks that it’s our job to pop out babies as women, and we are instant moms. But like with anything else in life, there’s a learning curve and a process. Having a baby is probably the most physically intense and emotionally draining experience you’ll ever have. There are a lot of highs and lows, hormones changing, and significant adjustments to be made. No one said bonding and falling in love must be fast, especially with your baby. Babies change from day to day, and it’s a beautiful thing to see and experience. Just like your relationship grew with your significant other over time, so will your relationship with your baby. However, there are things you can do to foster bonding with your baby on a daily basis.
To start, you can try babywearing. Babywearing has many benefits. One, it frees up your hands to get things done. It is also one of the best ways to calm a fussy baby. But most importantly, it gives you bonding time and snuggles! You can give skin-to-skin contact a try either alone or pairing it with warm water in a shower. This, too, is a calming and bonding exercise. If you are a breastfeeding parent, try to nurse your baby as often as possible with the least amount of distractions possible. Breastfeeding is an extraordinary bonding experience. Enjoy it!
While breastfeeding, the hormone oxytocin is released, which is referred to as the “love” hormone. It is relaxing for parents and babies. Those who aren’t breastfeeding parents but want to experience the same thing while feeding the baby, wear short sleeves for skin-to-skin contact, make eye contact, cuddle, and talk to the baby—the same idea goes for your baby’s bedtime routine. Incorporate a consistent bedtime with a bath, book, song, quiet, relaxing time for all those involved to promote a loving and lasting bond.
Another thing you can do to create a healthy relationship and bond with your baby is to create a balanced lifestyle. When you thrive, the baby will thrive. As a loving parent, you’re going to want to do everything for and with your baby. But it is important not to lose yourself as an individual. Being a parent is one facet of who you are. Make time for yourself, your friends, family, and your significant other. It’s okay to ask for help too. Ask family and friends to help out when you need a break.
Doing these things will help bring you and your baby closer together.
Meet The Expert
Mirella has been a family and childcare advocate for nearly two decades. With her bachelor’s degree in early childcare education, Mirella immediately started expanding her portfolio as a professional nanny, early childhood educator, and newborn care specialist. She later obtained her certification in child nutrition, positive discipline, and child abuse prevention. She expanded her professional reach more in 2016 by taking on the role of labor and postpartum doula. In 2020, Mirella became the Vice President of The Nanny Sitter Fund. She’s excited to be bringing her passion for childcare to the masses, making child welfare everyone’s responsibility. Learn more about her at MirellaAlexis.com