When your baby arrives, there are many ways you can help them feel secure out of the womb and start to build your loving bond together.
It's important for mum and baby to start building their bond, but to also include dads, partners, siblings and other carers such as grandparents.
There are many ways to help your baby feel secure and loved, such as regularly talking and singing to them, and offering lots cuddles.
Below are our top three ways to develop a close bond with your baby from day one.
- Slings/soft baby carriers
- Skin to skin contact
- Infant massage
Babies who receive consistent sensitive care will usually begin to form a healthy secure attachment with their caregiver. Sensitivity and warmth in response to infants have both been identified as crucial elements in healthy interactions.
Parents/carers play a key role in helping babies to regulate their physiological, emotional and behavioural states during early infancy by recognising and reading their babies cues.
Slings / soft baby carriers
Using a baby sling or baby carrier enables your baby to be held close to you whilst allowing you the freedom to continue with other daily tasks, particularly helpful if have other children to attend to.
Although it is considered normal practice in many non - western societies, sling wearing is not as prevalent here in the UK.
How to carry your baby safely in a sling (link to www.nct.org.uk/parenting/sling-safety )
Skin to Skin
Skin to skin contact can be given to your baby the moment they enter the world and can be enjoyed with Mum, Dad and siblings to help form a strong bond.
Place your baby on your chest, skin to skin. It can help soothe an unsettled baby, they calm on hearing the rhythm of your heartbeat and feeling the warmth and familiar smell of your skin.
- Try this with your baby, especially in the early weeks, and months.
- Touch is important to our health and wellbeing. Dads too!
- The touch between you and your baby brings you emotionally close together.
- Reduced crying
- Improves temperature regulation
- Improves parent-infant interaction
- Some pain relief effects
- Improves regulation of the infants’ body systems, so baby relaxes more easily
Infant massage programmes have been identified as a beneficial intervention to support the early parent–infant relationship.
Research has shown a range of significant results including indications that infants who were massaged cried less, slept better and had lower levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, compared to infants who did not receive massage.
Understanding your baby
- Understanding your baby
- Baby Watching: Making sense of your baby
- Birth to 5 book - this book provides information on caring for children up to five years old and contact details for useful organisations.
- The Pregnancy Book - you may have already received this or a link to it, but this is another very helpful booklet for you to look at during pregnancy.
Sling libraries can be a great way to find a sling that's right for you and your baby, plus they give you the opportunity to chat to other mums.
Sling libraries in Derbyshire
Wacky World, S44 6JF
2nd Friday of every month, 10am – 12 Midday.
The Den, Proact, S41 8NZ
3rd Friday of every month, 10am – 12 Midday.
Once a month 1pm – 2.30pm. Please contact play centre for exact dates.
Once a month – 1pm – 2.30pm. Please contact play centre for exact dates.
Bolsover and Chesterfield
Facebook: Chesterfield Sling Library
Sessions are free to attend, with free advice given. Library membership is £5. Sling hire is available to library members, from £5 to £10 per month.
Alfreton and Matlock
Sessions are free to attend, with free advice given. Sling hire is available to library members, £5 for 2 weeks. Library membership is £10 for 1 year.
Visit your local library for further details on local baby groups and groups that the free library service run.