You stare at the beautiful baby in your arms and you know you will do anything, anything to keep this child safe, happy and successful. I have always felt like bonding is a parent’s desire to make their kids not only know they are loved but FEEL they are loved. Luckily, lots of research supports parents in this pursuit. Here are three proven things to create an incredible bond with your child.
My favorite of all bonding activities is snuggles! Touch is such an important part of a child’s development. Whether you choose skin to skin or baby massage, getting your hands on that baby is so important. Look for opportunities with your child to allow for snuggle time! Hold hands while you read books, give your baby a massage after her bath, or invent a silly song about hugs and kisses and sing it every time you change a diaper.
Snuggling is of benefit to parents too! The Cleveland Clinic stated, “Fathers and mothers who hold babies skin to skin are thought to have increased confidence and are more relaxed.” You cannot overhold a baby, so snuggle your little lovebug and soak it in.
And let’s talk about the importance of silly songs. Music is a great way to bond with your child, but the bonding requires you to interact! This is why babies love songs with hand movements and actions. Research has showed interacting to music with your child increases bonding. Dig through your old childhood memories or YouTube and find fun songs to share with your little. And don’t forget about lullabies. Lots of musicians have put out professional versions of lullabies and it is tempting to play those versions for your child, but research shows that what really matters is that the parent sings the song. No matter your voice talent level, sing lovely lullabies to your little. Researchers have said, “It is not the quality of the voice that matters, it is the connection . . . It is not the on-key, smooth mechanical perfection that brings joy to infants as well as adults. The joy comes in the rendition, and the example of this intimate parent-to-infant message encourages the child to sing.”
Some of my favorite recent research shows the important of talking with babies. Tell baby about what you are doing and how you are doing it. “Mom is doing the dishes. First we turn on the water.” You get the idea. Talkwithyourbaby.org says, “Research has shown that children from talkative families may have heard 30 million more words directed to them by age 3 than children from less-talkative families! And the same research study showed that the more words the children had heard by age 3, the better they did on tests of cognitive development.” So chat away and tell your baby all about the world around you. Talk about family, talk about the weather, just talk.
Bonding tightly with your baby is one of the strongest desires of any parent’s heart. Starting with these three steps will help build your bond and your friendship with your little loved one.