1. Skin-to-skin contact
In the early days, skin-to-skin contact is a great bonding tool. Whenever you can, dress your baby in just a nappy so you can let him lie on your bare chest and feel the natural warmth of your skin and smell your natural scent. Bathing with your baby is also a great way to achieve this.
2. Make eye contact with your baby
When you baby is awake, take as many opportunities as you can to make eye-contact with him. Nappy changing is a great time to do this. Talk gently so that you can hold his attention and stare into his eyes.
3. Feeding times are great for bonding
Besides providing your baby with nature’s perfect milk, when you breastfeed your baby, the intimate contact promotes bonding. Through this, your baby also learns that you’re a source of care and comfort.
If you’re not breastfeeding, bottle-feeding time can be of equal benefit as you hold your baby close to you and read his facial expressions.
4. Respond to your baby’s needs
When your baby cries, respond to his needs as soon as you can. You’re not spoiling your child by picking him up to comfort him; you’re teaching him that he can rely on and trust you. Studies have shown that babies whose needs are attended to more quickly, are quicker to calm and relax, and cry less.
5. Massage your baby
Your touch is soothing and reassuring for your baby, and a gentle massage can be one of the best ways to offer comfort. Find a massage course or click here for tips and advice when massaging your baby.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals.