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Bonding With Your Baby: Forming a Lifetime Relationship
We have all heard how newborn animals bond with their parents, imprint on them and learn from them. It is the same with humans. You may not realize it, but you and your newborn need to bond during the first few weeks of life, and this bonding will be the beginning of a long, and satisfying, relationship. Good bonding has been shown to impact a child's adult life as well, enabling him to form lasting, successful relationships as he grows.
Your baby is unique, and uses his own set of signals to express his needs and wants. During the first months of your baby's life, you will learn how his cries can signal hunger, or tiredness and how his body movements indicate his mood and excitement. Soon, before he can even talk, you will know your baby like a book. The secret is to really pay attention to your child and spend lots of time learning from him.
One of the most important ways you can bond with your baby is by spending a lot of time looking at him. Look deep into his eyes as he is feeding, whether by breast or bottle, talking soothingly to him. Make interesting facial expressions with him as you change his diaper, or while you hold him. Be sure to talk to him all the time, explaining what you are doing, even though he is too young to understand. He will soon associate your voice with comfort and happiness. Your baby will learn that you are his parent, and the most special person in his life.
You can bond with your baby through play and laughter. For infants, it is fun to play body part games, such as little piggy and patty cake. Soon, you will find that he is trying to do the motions with his own hands. Laughing is great fun for babies, and he will learn to imitate your laughter and facial expressions, as well as cultivating a wonderful relationship with you.
It can be difficult for dads to bond with their babies, due to long workdays, and children being in bed sometimes when they come home. But dads need to bond with their babies too. A good way to encourage the bonding experience between dad and baby is to let him feed the baby a bottle once in a while. Once breastfeeding is established, it doesn't hurt to give daddy a bottle, so that he can experience the eye contact and body language that is so important in a baby's first months.
Bedtime routines can be a special bonding experience. A warm bath, nighttime feeding and a couple of picture books make for a relaxing evening that is conducive to peaceful sleep. Be creative, and come up with your own bedtime traditions, as this is an important time in your child's day.
There is a lot to learn when you have a newborn or infant in your life, and it is crucial that the bonding process is encouraged every day. If you just follow your feelings, and your baby's actions, you will learn about him every day, as he learns about you. Good bonding will jump-start your relationship, and pave the way for a lifetime of love!