The apple of your eyes and the soul of your belonging – the baby! Yes, parents have a different kind of love for their baby. One that defies logic of time, space and knowledge and creates an everlasting experience of love and contentment! There is no love greater than parent’s love and indeed building a bond with your baby makes you earn for it each day. Bonding with the baby starts early when the child starts breathing and continues for lifetime. There is no moment when the parents are seen not bonding with the child. The constant filling of milk bottles, changing of nappies, playing around the house, making the baby walk, bringing a new cycle, taking the kid to school and giving guidance throughout life is all a part of bonding.
Who really knows where the bonding started and where shall it end. All we know is it is important for a loving and caring environment in the house and makes the relationship between the parents and child all the more exciting and fun filled. And when you must be thinking of how it would feel like to hold your child in your hands and if they would recognize you, here is a small guide you should need to give you all the knowledge about how beautiful and important is it building a bond with your baby.
Why is bonding important?
Bonding is very important for the baby to experience a good growth and development, healthy behavior and learning things. Research show that the babies who were very close to their mothers have proven good social behavior and are happier and active. Bonding brings the parents and the child closer. It makes them feel a sense of belonging and create a lovable environment at home.
Most infants take a lot of time to build bonding with their parents. Particularly with their fathers because mother has to be around for almost 24 hours but father spend a little less time with the child when compare to mothers. So, children often take time bonding with the father. In some cases, parents take time to bond with the new born. Other times the bonding comes instantly. Bonding is a process that happens through time and constant care giving. You don’t realize it until you get touched by some special moment. Bonding brings comfort and love into the relationship and is very important for building a happy family.
What are the best ways to bond?
Bonding or attachment is the perfect way to give emotional wellness. Watching your baby sleep with its hand holding your pinky finger, giggling at a sight of you and of course the endless cries when you are not around is something a mother enjoys a lot. Bonding is that special connection between the parent and the child that brings them closer every minute and builds love and care all around. Bonding helps in fast development of a happy child. There is no specific time to bond with your baby, it’s a continuous process and there can be many ways of going about it, some best ways are:
- Birth Bonding: The first sight of your bay, the first touch, the soft feel of the baby etc. count for the most memorable moments a parent can ever have. Remember that it is not just your first, it’s the baby’s first too and it is equally special for him. Babies although may not be able to speak, but the most lovable eyes that the baby sees first is that of their parents and there can be an instant connection.
- Breastfeeding: The first breastfeeding session with the baby is the most incredible experience for any mother. The discomfort, nervousness, tension all building up until the process goes right and you find yourself nurturing the child makes motherhood all the more special. Breastfeeding baby regularly makes you want to take care of him, read his signs and baby language and makes the baby know that you are his source of love and care.
- Wearing clothes: When you are the constant nappy changer and provider of new clothes, baby reads the signs and gives signs of times when you need to change too. Dads have a role to play here as they are not often deeply involved in the daily care routine. Even changing the baby’s dress can get fun and act as a bonding session for dad.
- Bedding: Never let the baby have his own room or create a private space until he is required too. Sleeping and ensuring his care all night will make the baby comfortable and save from scaring him. You don’t want your baby to get up in the night and keep crying when you are peacefully sleeping in your room right? Keeping baby at arm’s reach and making frequent checks at baby during the night ensures the baby’s good health and love bonding.
- Baby cries: Whenever a baby cries there is always a reason behind it, probably something is troubling him or he is hungry or he wants something. Babies cry to communicate to their needs, try to understand them and make them trust on you for their care and love. Baby cries always intend towards calling you at their rescue and reaching out to them as soon as possible make them feel secure.
- Baby training: Beware of expert advice from other parents into baby training and follow your instincts. When the baby cries, it not a game he is playing instead he is demanding to be understood or is probably hungry. People resort to free advises a lot and taking them harms your bond with the baby.
- Balance: Your baby needs you but not as much as you don’t get to do other things. There has to be a balance in being there and being needy. Do not over pamper your baby to make them spoilt. Understand and make the baby learn that too much demanding isn’t going to work. You have to create a perfect balance to keep that special feel alive.
Although these were just simpler ways of bonding and guidance to you and your baby’s bonding, taking the baby out for walk, for travel, doing task around the baby etc, will make you bond with the baby and make the baby enjoy your company too.
Why is bonding important for the baby?
Bonding is like the emotional understanding of the baby language and communicating the same with the baby. It is interactive, fun and dynamic. Like us parents, babies too have a sense of connection and bonding towards faces and voices they get to see more often. It makes the baby get in know of your voice, eyes, movements, touch and get familiar with you. Baby tries to talk to you in his own language of crying, cooing, moving, laughing, mimicking and giving facial expressions. Bonding brings out the communicating power in the baby and makes the baby understand that you are the source of his love, care and trust. That when he is in any problem or discomfort he has to call you through actions! There are times when you are moving around the room corners and you might catch the baby moving the eye lids and following the directions you walk. They are constantly in search of you and thus always keep an eye on you.
What are the factors that may affect bonding?
Parents sometimes get nervous on seeing their baby or are not able to interpret what the baby is trying to say. This happens most in cases where the baby is adopted and they meet the baby for the first time. The appearance, feel and the mental picture that parents must have build some times don’t match and it becomes an area of concern for the bonding to happen. In many houses, there is gender disparity for a child and when the baby is not what they had required, parents sometimes don’t make early efforts to understand the baby or don’t give the baby that environment. The probable things that may affect bonding are:
- Unexpected pregnancy or birth of baby
- Emotional turmoil
- Gender non-acceptance of the baby
- Hormonal changes in the mother
- Disability in the baby
- Nervous parents
- Lack of knowledge in care of baby
What if I am not able to bond?
If you have not been able to create an intense bond with your baby, you will get to know of it in some days. If you are not comfortable handling the baby, feel detached or resentful of him than it is a matter of concern. Talking to doctors, friends or family members would help in getting insights of how to feel closer to the baby and understand better keeping the detachment feel aside.
Baby is your nurture and nourishment, the life that you have created to be a part of your life. Bonding with the baby is a necessity to help the baby grow in a healthy and loved environment. If you are not able to bond, you must consider spending more time with the baby and focus on learning his language, talks etc. You can also sit around the baby and play soft music, or watch T.V. or just take the baby out for a walk to create a bond.
Parenthood is the most amazing experience and bonding or attachments with your baby is the most incredible and emotional part of it. Bonding accounts for emotional nurturing which can only be given by parents as they have been the people who have waited for nine months for the child to be with them. Parents who themselves have not experienced good bonding with their parents might have troubles creating a bond with their own child. This problem is very normal and is often noticed in parents who are living away from their parents. Making efforts constantly and creating a safe and secure environment is however in your hands to have a new start.
The challenges that parents have to encounter in creating a bond with the baby are:
- Depression, tension and emotional turmoil
- Habits like smoking, drinking, drugs etc.
- Unsafe environment
- Negative childhood memories
- Busy lifestyle
It is advised to try to solve the personal problems and work on creating a safer environment for your baby to create a safer tomorrow.