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.
- Skin to skin contact
- Infant massage
- Carrying your baby in a Sling
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.
Skin to Skin
Skin to skin contact can be given to your baby the moment they enter the world and can help form a strong bond. Parents/carers can enjoy the closeness skin to skin brings with the newest member of the family, even older siblings can be supported in having skin to skin time to help family bond forming.
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 all our health and wellbeing.
- 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.
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.
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 is right for you and your baby, plus they give you the opportunity to chat to other mums.
There are sling libraries across Derbyshire, ask your health visitor for more information specific to your area