5 Easy Ways to Bond with Your New Baby

Written by: Kiran Advani

Most new moms hear that breastfeeding is a great way to bond with their new baby.  But somewhere along the way, breastfeeding has become a source of heartache for new mothers.  Whether they’re unable to breastfeed due to medical conditions, work-life balance, discomfort – whatever the reason – many women make the decision to not breastfeed and then feel guilty about it.

Juli Billings Walter, CocoonCare’s in-house lactation consultant, says that the reason most women decide to stop breastfeeding is because they don’t have all the information they need. The positions being taught by a majority of the classes, think “football hold” or the special pillows – are not always conducive to successful nursing.  She also says that many women contact her when they are in serious trouble with nursing because they did not start with the right information.  Many new moms struggle with the decision to stop.

Not being able to breastfeed, for whatever reason, should not be a blow to you or your relationship with your baby. There are many other ways to bond with your baby.  

Fantastic ways to bond with your baby:

#1. Got milk? Nope, he didn’t order the boob, so if you give him the bottle he is not going to send it back.  Hold him close as you would if you were nursing, tilt him up and give him the bottle. Hungry as he is, he is not going to turn it down!

#2. Touch, touch, touch! Baby’s been cocooned in your womb until recently, so recreate the intimacy by sitting on the couch (you’ve done laundry for 20+ years, take a break) and holding baby close, skin-to-skin.  Hygienic and relaxing, bathing baby is a way to bond too. Massaging baby after his bath builds a connection because it is relaxing for the baby, soothes colic, and provides many other benefits also.

#3. Reading & Singing!  She’s not very interactive. Just kind of stares and blinks. Don’t let her lack of interaction throw you. Connect with her by reading and singing – she will associate your voice with your touch and know that you are the go-to person for all things important! When she starts cooing and gurgling, she will imitate the inflections of your voice, and this will carry through as she develops language skills. I used to sing as I changed my daughter’s diaper, and ever since she began chattering, my daughter says “oh-kaay??” just the way I do when she ends her sentences!

#4. Dance, Dance Baby! Rocking the baby to Rock-a-Bye Baby is fine but bopping around to “Call me maybe!!” is fun (and will keep you sane too)! He will get a sense of rhythm, be exposed to different beats and sounds; later on, you can hold him hostage with the video. The best part: he won’t step on your toes! Just remember to hold on to his head until he gains neck control.

#5. Talk, talk, talk! I used to tell my daughter everything I was doing (or not). Oops, mama forgot to brush her teeth this morning, and now mama’s going to change her shirt because we got some spit-up on it…then she started cooing back to me so I would imitate her sounds! Sometimes when she was awake, we went up a reading level, lay in the bed holding hands and I read a little Sue Grafton to her. Look Kinsey’s in trouble again…

Bottom line is: be proud of yourself for all the other things you do for your little one, and the love you express by your actions. It is not a big deal that you did not, or are not nursing, the big deal is that you are there for each and everything else.

Kiran Advani is the owner of CocoonCare, a prenatal and postnatal fitness and wellness center in River North. Kiran and her husband, Alok Jhamnani, envisioned CocoonCare after the birth of their daughter, Reyna. While pregnant, Kiran wanted to continue exercising safely for her baby, to learn how to care for her baby and to socialize in a comfortable environment. She found nothing that made all this available at one place....thus, CocoonCare was born. For information on CocoonCare’s classes such as infant massage, belly breathing and more, please visit www.CocoonCare.com - plus check out the NPN Parent Perk!

Posted on March 01, 2013 at 5:12 PM