Ways to bond at home with your newborn during your maternity leave
After nine long months, your little angel is finally with you! Here are some tips to help you bond with your newborn while you are on maternity leave, so you can enjoy every single second together.
You have waited for your angel for nine months and now that she is finally here, you can hardly stop admiring her, caressing her and showering her with endless love.
These days, weeks and months that you have taken time off work to spend with your sweet cherub are so precious. And because time flies when you become a mom, you want to make sure every second of your maternity leave is well-spent, bonding with your little love.
But why exactly is establishing and nurturing this bond so important? Let’s find out.
The importance of bonding with your baby
Sometimes, the mom-baby bond develops as soon as the baby is born or a few days after birth.
However, in other cases, it might take a bit longer and may need a bit more nurturing.
No matter what, as in every human relationship, bonding takes time to grow and develop roots.
Developing a strong relationship with your baby should not be neglected. It is crucial for your little one’s emotional development. In fact, if there is no secure emotional connection at a young age, babies may experience relationship challenges later in life. Not only that, they may find it difficult to bond with their own children in the future.
This is why your maternity leave period is crucial to establish this all-important relationship.
Here are some tips for new moms to bond with their newborns.
1. Touch and cuddle your baby
We are wired to respond positively to the human touch. Babies feel it, too, especially from their mothers, and it starts right from the womb.
“Babies may be able to recognize their mother’s touch while still in the womb, helping them to bond even before birth,” according to research carried out at the University of Dundee.1
Your touch is comforting for both you and your baby, so have a lot of skin-to-skin contact, starting immediately after birth. This is also important for establishing breastfeeding. Continue to hold her and cuddle her gently as often as you can.
Remember: the only way your baby can communicate is through crying. So make it a point to always comfort her through your touch should she get upset.
2. Bathtime bonding
Bathing your newborn is one of the sweetest ways to bond with your little bundle of joy. While your baby will enjoy the soothing feel of the water and the refreshing soap scent, you will have cute little cooing conversations with each other. She will respond to your touch as you gently cleanse her body and hair. This kind of close contact will definitely build precious memories between mommy and baby.
Don’t forget to use the right kind of soap, shampoo and baby lotion during and after your bathtime ritual. If your baby has extra-sensitive skin, use a fragrance-free baby wash such as Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Hair to Toe Baby Wash. As gentle as water, this fragrance-free baby body wash for sensitive skin has a pH-neutral and hypoallergenic formula that is ophthalmologist, dermatologist and pediatrician-tested.
Also, keep in mind that baby skin is delicate and can lose moisture easily during bathtime. To help replenish this essential moisture, you can use Baby Dove Rich Moisture Nourishing Baby Lotion. Hypoallergenic and pH neutral with a fragrance developed for delicate skin, it moisturizes baby’s skin for up to 24 hours.
3. Play with her every day
Playing together gives birth to fun moments, leading to deeper bonding between a parent and child. According to The American Academy of Paediatrics, children need parental attention, and if they don’t get it, they may throw tiny tantrums. Playing with your little cutie is a great way to give her the attention she needs from you. Beyond bonding, it also helps your baby to develop her motor, cognitive and social skills. Your little one will also learn to express her feelings through play.
4. Carry your baby
Carrying your baby around generates great warmth and bonding. You can carry her in your arms or in a sling or front carrier.
There is a lot of touching and eye-contact while you carry your baby, which can further strengthen the bond. You can choose an inward-facing, front-carrying position, where she can see your face, snuggle into your breasts and smell your warm, comforting mommy fragrance. She can even breastfeed on-the-go! Your baby can also hear your oh-so-familiar heartbeat, which makes her feel calm and secure.
5. Face-time with you baby
Something deep happens when you look at your baby and she looks back at you, when you smile at her and she smiles back…it’s a divine connection! So, have plenty of face-time with her. And when you get back to work, you can still do face-time of the electronic kind from your office!
6. Massage your baby
Massaging your baby is a very effective way to bond with her. As your hands move across her body, she will respond to your touch and feel calm and happy. It will also strengthen her muscles.
In fact, you can get dads involved in this little ritual, too. Many fathers may feel dissatisfied because they are not able to form a close bond with their child in the early postpartum period. This may increase their parent-related stress. According to one study, “an infant massage intervention assisted fathers with decreasing stress and increasing bonding with their infants during this time.”2
7. Take care of yourself, too
You carried your baby for nine months in your womb and now that you have delivered her, you need to relax and chill, too.
If you remain relaxed and happy, your baby will also remain relaxed and happy. Remember: a happy state of mind leads to greater bonding.
With these tips, mom, not only will you put your maternity leave to good use but you will develop a healthy and deep bond with your baby.
Baby Dove products go beyond mildness and help restore essential moisture from hair to toe, helping you become more confident that you're providing the utmost care for your child. After all, when it comes to your baby, there is no perfect way— only your way. #RealMoms