Would you like to learn simple ways to bond with your baby and form a loving, nurturing attachment to your baby? Others may tell you that you are spoiling your baby or forming an “attached at the hip” relationship that will forever harm your baby.
Be reassured that if you practice the tips presented in this article with love balanced out with your own needs for rest, adult contact and intellectual stimulation, your child will definitely not grow to be forever attached to your hip.
Instead, he or she will grow to be an independent and secure adult, which is at the core of exactly what you as a parent have the responsibility of forming in your child.
These first years of life are when this foundation is laid. A strong, healthy attachment is the key to rearing a secure and independent adult.
As a parent or caregiver you have a lot of things to get done in a 24 hour period of time. There is laundry to do, meals to cook, errands to run and if you care for or have other children, their individual needs must be attended to as well.
Tips for forming a closer bond with your baby:
• Read and talk to your baby: Especially important if it is just you and your baby together for the majority of the time. Reading and talking to your baby helps your baby to understand and trust you. Good early books are picture books with one word descriptions of everyday objects on each page or books with short rhyming patterns.
• Avoid a non-stop chatter for your baby all day long; this can cause your baby to become over-stimulated and tune you out.
• Make reading times routine: Your baby will learn when it is time to listen.
• Play lap games with your baby: Peek-a-boo and patty cake help children develop fine motor skills and object permanence. More important, they provide times of closeness for you and your child.
• Massage your baby: Especially good for babies who get worked up quickly and have a hard time calming down, and for babies who are not able to self-soothe. Don’t wait until he or she is fussy to give a massage. Massage your baby before and after a bath and during diaper changes. Infant massage is an important way to build attachment and soothe fussiness.
• Look at your baby while you are feeding him: This promotes attachment, but it also helps him or her to develop his own sense of identity. When you look into his eyes during a feeding, there is prolonged, intimate contact combined with warmth of being nestled in your arms. Change sides and you give baby a different view of you and help him or her to develop both sides of his brain and body. Of special note here, I observed a very young girl feeding her baby in this very manner, and I thought how beautiful the two of them appeared during those moments of feeding times, and how content they both appeared. Not only does your baby benefit from this close interaction during feeding times, but you will benefit as well.
• Kiss your baby: Kissing is an intimate activity that signals affection toward your baby and helps promote attachment. A kiss from “mommy” can often cure a whole realm of ailments and boo-boos in a baby’s life.
• Talk to your baby when you are out of sight: Often babies become frightened when they realize a parent or caregiver has left the room. This can become frustrating if it happens every time you need to leave the room to answer the phone or to use the bathroom. Start early and you can help alleviate this fear. As you leave the room, talk to your baby about what you are doing or where you are going. Just hearing your voice is reassuring to baby that you are not far away.
• Be there when your baby wakes up: If possible, and you know your child always wakes from a nap at a certain time, make it a habit to occasionally be nearby when he or she wakes up, ready to give a hug and kiss.
Practicing these few simple tips should help you form a closer attachment to your baby that will help to lay the foundation for him or her to grow into the secure, independent adult you desire.
Disclaimer: *This article is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any kind of a health problem. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your health care provider about any kind of a health problem and especially before beginning any kind of an exercise routine.
By Connie Limon