From the moment you learn you’re going to become a parent, you can begin preparing for a healthy environment in which you can bond and build a close relationship with your baby. By developing a loving and connected relationship with your newborn, you’ll be able to raise him or her to be a secure, joyful, and healthy child–and a more assured, empathetic adult.
Here are a few of the best attachment parenting tools to begin this wonderful new relationship with your baby.
- Start today to bond with your baby bump
Your connection with your baby begins before birth. During your pregnancy, your diet, activity, stress level, environment, and anything that affects your health also affects the health of your baby. Take advantage of the time you’re pregnant to begin building a strong mother-child relationship. Be aware of when you notice the baby moving and kicking, talk to your baby bump, sing or play music. Do whatever feels right and keeps you actively aware of the baby you’re carrying.
- Go on a “baby-moon”
Before becoming a parent, go on one last vacation while pregnant. Take two, three, or four nights, pick a location that isn’t too difficult to travel to, and spend the time away bonding with your partner as well as your unborn child. Get a pregnancy massage, pamper yourself, and get plenty of relaxation.
- Get a lot of skin-to-skin contact
Once your baby is born, it’s important to build a trusting and close connection from the moment you first hold them. Babies thrive on touch. We recommend using as much skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye contact as possible.
- Breastfeed as much as possible
Breastfeeding is not only the most natural and healthy way to nourish your baby, but it can also serve as a helpful exercise in reading your baby and getting to learn their personality. Use the intimate contact to bond with your baby and learn your baby’s facial expressions and body language.
- Study your baby
Pay attention to the cries and coos your baby makes, as well as nonverbal cues like arm movements, kicking, and facial expressions. As you are able to connect certain sounds and movements with their apparent needs, you’ll be able to build your own language with your little one.
- Respond to cries
Crying is one of the only ways newborns know how to communicate. Listen to their cries, be attentive, and treat it as important as any other language. Try to decipher what different cries mean, and you can build a deeper connection and trust in your relationship. Once you’re able to understand what your baby needs and when he or she needs it, you’ll be able to react quicker, and your baby may cry less or for not as long.
- Leave the mess
As a parent, you may feel like you’re constantly in the middle of a tug-a-war between cleaning up the home or cuddling with your baby. The answer is simple: Always choose your baby. Messes can wait. You only have this precious time with your baby for a brief period in your life, and you will look back on every special moment your shared with your baby.
Dr. Axline and his office specialize in treating the whole woman through all phases of her life. To learn more about our services check our website, or contact our office to schedule an appointment (972) 538-2100.