Love, at first sight, seems to be a real thing. But you cannot help but wonder, will you connect with the baby in a way that you are expected to? Forming a connection with a new person, let alone a baby, is not as easy as movies make it seem. Yes, you love that baby to bits. You know that this baby here is your whole life. Some of us have struggled with acknowledging these emotions. This might cause you to feel that you are not bonding sufficiently with the baby. Don’t worry. Here are some effective steps to get you started:
- Look into their eyes
Hold your babies close and look into their eyes often. Talk to them and sing to them when doing so. There are many benefits to doing this. You will appreciate your baby as a real person. You will bond with them and find it easy to have conversations with them even if they don’t respond to you. When you sing to them, you will see them smile or even laugh. Their cute expressions will warm your heart. You will be encouraged to spend more and more time with them every day. Also, they will learn to recognize you right away.
- Cuddle with them often
Use every chance you get to hold your baby and snuggle them against you. Your baby needs protection right now. They crave the human touch and find peace in it. Being held is something all babies love. Hold them against your skin. This human touch soothes you and the baby and helps you connect with them. You feel immensely protective and they feel safe. This helps you connect strongly. Whenever they cry, hold them gently against you and rock them to sleep. Maximize skin-to-skin contact. Stroke them whenever you can and feel that little thumb holding your finger.
- Play with them
Newborn babies might not know how to play games like older children. But they love it when you play with them. You could make funny faces and make them laugh. Wave your hands comically around them. Observe what makes them happy and have fun with it. Know that it is okay if they respond to you and your partner differently. Have your games with them. Your baby just loves the attention and joy you are bringing them. So don’t overthink it and have fun, babies don’t judge. Soft toys are a good choice if you are not a natural entertainer. Or even hand puppets.
- Be around them a lot
Thanks to the on-and-off p.andemic, you have more chances to spend time with them than you normally would. Take them around in a carrier when you step out to walk. Carry them around in a sling if you need to step out for groceries. Spend as much time being around them as you can. The bonding will naturally happen as a result of prolonged proximity. You don’t have to do much. Be attentive to their needs and be around them while doing your day-to-day activities. This will also give mommy a much-needed breather now and then.
- Watch and mimic your baby
Whenever your baby coos, you do the same. If they move their hands or rub their face, you also do these things. You are actively responding to them and communicating with them when you do so. Of course, it might seem silly but open communication is key to bonding. Mirroring their actions will make them laugh at times. Other times, you are connecting with them and appreciating them as a whole other person, not just a baby. This will effectively strengthen the father-baby bond you both share.
- Talk to them often
We don’t mean cute little baby noises. Have proper conversations with them. Talk to them about your day. Talk to them about your future together. Talk to them about your worries. You can talk to your baby about things you cannot tell anyone else. They are a real person but your baby does not understand and is not going to remember. You will feel lighter inside. As an added benefit, you will feel so much closer to them as well. Tell them that you love them. They might not comprehend but make it a habit to communicate this early on. It will be very useful as your child grows up. Your baby will soon become your littlest best friend.
There is a lot of pressure from other parents and the internet to bond with your baby and do it right. It does not come as naturally to dads as it does to moms. Moms have the upper hand of knowing the baby way too closely for nine months longer and feeding them now. But your baby is going to love you just as much. Make these slight efforts and observe how your worries go away.