We hear so much about the importance of bonding with our babies in the early days, weeks, and months, but that doesn’t mean we should stress over forming a secure attachment. There are plenty of things you’re probably already doing to bond with your little one daily.
8 Simple Ways to Bond With Your Baby
Here are some simple habits you can incorporate into your day-to-day routine to bond with your baby in a natural, no-pressure way.
1. Squeeze In Time for Skin-to-Skin
Babies are hardwired to want to be near their mamas, and skin-to-skin is a perfect way to encourage closeness. Mother-baby contact immediately following birth isn’t always possible, but it’s highly beneficial to mom and baby when it is. Even though I didn’t get to hold my second child until over 24 hours past his arrival, I have no doubt the skin-to-skin contact we did share in his early weeks and months contributed to the bond we have today.1
2. Eliminate Distractions
I don’t know about you, but I feel much more seen when the people I’m interacting with aren’t on their phones mid-conversation. Why would our babies be any different? Setting down your technology, finding a quiet place to be with your tiny human, and soaking in the moment between the two of you is a no-brainer when bonding with your baby.
3. Babywear Through Everyday Tasks
Babywearing isn’t just a convenient option for multitasking or transporting your little bundle. It’s an anytime, anywhere opportunity for bonding with your baby. With so many wraps, slings, and carriers on the market, there’s bound to be a perfect fit for every bonding duo. If my daughter’s newborn stage proved anything, babywearing is a game changer for incredibly clingy babies.
4. Sing, Read, and Play Games
As a stay-at-home mom, I often question whether I’m doing enough for my kiddos within the walls of our house. Every lullaby, read-aloud, and game of peek-a-boo – no matter how repetitive – are some moments I feel the closest to my babies. These silly, sweet moments of engaging with baby are sure to promote both bonding and fun.
5. Work a Baby Massage Into Your Nightly Routine
Much like other forms of skin-to-skin, baby massage (also see: how to do infant massage) encourages wellness and calm and is great for bonding with your baby. You don’t need to be a skilled massage therapist for this; a minute or two of baby massage following bath time is all it takes. You can find a calming baby lotion or baby massage oil you love and give your baby the mini spa treatment.1
6. Make Eye Contact
Babies need eye contact for multiple reasons, with brain and emotional development at the forefront. In addition to setting your baby up for healthy communication skills, being intentional about holding plenty of eye contact with them from the beginning will promote a secure attachment and strong sense of connection to you. Plus, is there anything more heartwarming than gazing into those precious baby eyes as they gaze right back at you?2
7. Talk to Your Baby
Whether you’re narrating the play-by-play of your everyday life, cracking a silly joke, or doting on your precious bundle with your words, talking to your baby often and with tenderness is an easy, impactful way to be attentive to and bond with them. Babies learn how to communicate by interacting with us, and there are endless opportunities to bond with yours every day simply by conversing as you would with anyone you love and cherish.3
8. Soak Up All the Snuggles
They won’t last forever, so allow yourself to slow down and soak up all the baby snuggles while you still can. While my children’s newborn phases were a blur, I’ll never forget nap times spent rocking them to sleep and cuddling up on the couch as some of our fondest first moments. Seeing first-hand how safe and content my babies felt in my arms added to the heart-bursting love accompanying each snuggle. In addition, studies point to numerous benefits of snuggling for both newborns and parents, such as body rhythm regulation, sleep promotion, and increased oxytocin levels. So go ahead and get cozy. Baby snuggles are a win-win!4
If you’re intentional about bonding with your baby from the beginning, you and your little one can look forward to reaping the benefits for years. Bonding with your baby doesn’t have to be difficult. It can happen in countless little everyday ways every day. I hope this list encourages you to make space for the no-pressure, highly meaningful practices that can lead to lifelong rewards. Happy bonding!