How to Bond With Your Newborn Baby

baby Aug 22, 2022
A mom bonds with her newborn baby after birth

 

Congratulations on your sweet little baby.

While pregnancy brings a lot of excitement, expectations, and challenges, nothing can quite prepare you for what reality looks like when you bring your newborn baby home.

We see photos of mothers holding their newborn babies and peacefully looking down while their baby eats or sleeps. Yes, that is part of it, but there is A LOT going on that we don’t see:

  • First, your hormones are drastically changing. There is a huge shift in hormone levels when your placenta is delivered. This helps trigger breastmilk production, but it can also lead to a lot of mixed emotions.
  • Second, chances are you are exhausted. You have been up at all hours of the night learning how to care for your new little roommate.
  • Third, your life is completely different now. When you are pregnant, it is easy to envision your current life with a baby in tow. It is hard to imagine how many changes happen when your baby is born.

Some moms bond with their babies immediately, while others take a bit longer. Both are completely normal.

 

Tips to build a strong bond with your baby…

  • Practice skin-to-skin as much as you can
    • Skin-to-skin is beneficial even after delivery. It provides a lot of comfort for your baby and can increase oxytocin levels, which makes you feel happy. You can never have too much skin-to-skin contact.
  • Babywearing, holding them, love on them
    • Keeping your baby close and comfy can help promote bonding. Babywearing is a good option when you still want to move around, but would also like to hold your baby. There are many different types of wraps out there. Ask your local mom’s group if they have any you can borrow.  Remember, you cannot spoil a baby.
  • Eye contact and play
    • Get up close and personal with your baby. Let them study your features and get to know you. Play games and make funny faces. Remember, newborn babies can’t focus their eyes further than one foot away so it is a-okay to be up in their face. In fact, your baby will likely appreciate it.
  • Ask for help
    • Many people say it takes a village to raise a child. Find people who are willing to help you and that you feel comfortable asking for help. This doesn’t need to be a partner - it could be a friend, coworker, or family member. In my experience, many people offer to help out, but it is hard to actually accept the help. I encourage you to accept it. Invite people over IF it doesn’t bring more stress. Sign up for the meal train even if it makes you feel awkward. Not having to stress about chores can help you bond with your baby.
  • Do things that make you feel like you
    • You were a person before you were a mom. You had likes, dislikes, and interests. This does not change just because you had a baby. Sometimes one of the best things you can do to bond is to do something that makes you feel like YOU. A little self-care can be huge for your mental health. 
  • Leave the house
    • Staying inside for days can take a toll on your mental health. I encourage you to get outside, take your baby on a walk, and go to a park or a restaurant.
  • Examine your stressors
    • What are the things that are causing you the most stress in your life? Is it sleep, feeding, or family relationships? Are any of these getting in the way of bonding with your baby? Ask for help. Get feeding support. Learn about what is normal vs what is concerning when it comes to your baby. Be open and honest about your needs with those you are closest to.
  • Give yourself grace
    • Your life just drastically changed. You have a new little roommate who wakes up every 2 hours and is completely dependent on you to survive. It is hard. It takes a while to get used to the big changes. Be kind to yourself. 

 

When to be concerned

A little bit of moodiness or anxiety (AKA baby blues) can be normal in the first few weeks after delivery. If it continues or worsens, I highly recommend reaching out to your OB. Post-partum anxiety and depression are far more common than we talk about.

And remember, I am here to help if feeding your baby is causing you extra stress. 

 

Need more information?

Leaving the hospital and still have questions about feeding your baby? Check out my virtual workshop on feeding your baby taking place on Tuesday, September 13th at 12 pm central. Replays will be available to those who cannot attend live.

I look forward to meeting you!

Erin

 

Do you have a baby under 4 months and have LOTS of questions?

This bundle has the answers to support you to make those first months of life less stressful so you can enjoy your baby more and worry less.

What's Included?

  • A 50 minute self-paced workshop with common questions that occur in the first month.
  • A 60-page PDF that covers breastfeeding, formula feeding, and combo-feeding to help you learn HOW to address concerns in your feeding journey.
  • A 20 page PDF on troubleshooting the most common breastfeeding issues in the first 3-4 months.

 

 

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