What could be better? The anticipation is over and the day is finally here when you meet your sweet bundle of joy. Embrace it and treasure it because it truly is special.
If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery you will likely have the opportunity in the delivery room to begin the bonding process. The first touches, sounds, and exchanges will be the foundation for all that is yet to come. Not all parents feel like ‘parents’ right away and this is normal. For some it just comes with time.
In the days that follow, spend time just talking to your newborn, making eye contact, and cuddling. I often found myself just talking my thoughts aloud. For example, while changing my son I would say in a sweet calming voice, “Now I am going to put on a fresh diaper. Let me take it out of the drawer. Don’t roll over while I am changing you, etc etc.” You get the idea…You don’t have to come up with profound words of wisdom. It’s your tone and eye contact that’s most important.
For Dads who feel left out of the breastfeeding process, there are still plenty of opportunities to cuddle and bond during diaper changes, baths, playtime and when just enjoying some skin-skin contact.
Bathtime is also a great time for bonding. Even if your baby doesn’t enjoy the bath at first, be patient. With time, most babies end up loving splashing about. Following the bath with an infant massage is a great way to enhance the experience and indulge in a little extra one on one time.
Bonding with your children is something the never ends and continues to grow as your children get older. As my own children grow up, I still relish those stolen moments when we enjoy a snuggle or a hug. Sometimes I feel my daughter’s head move onto my shoulder as I lie in her bed at night reading to her. It’s precious and something I treasure.
Do you have any favorite bonding activities?