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Hand in Hand Learning > Birth > Bonding with your baby

Bonding with your baby

Mar 30, 2015 1 Birth, Hand in Hand Learning, How Babies Learn, Pregancy , , , , ,

Bonding with your baby may or may not come naturally to you. 
You may be taken by surprise at the overwhelming love you feel, or you may feel guilty because you are not swamped with nurturing emotions. Every one of us is different, and every pregnancy varies too.
Once you learn more about your developing baby, I am sure you will be not only be amazed, but will also start to develop that special closeness.
When we are pregnant our focus is often on the big event…the birth of our baby; and this usually centres on the actual process of giving birth. Antenatal classes are a great way to help you prepare for this.
What has been harder to come by until now, is support and advice about how you can help to develop a happy, warm and loving relationship with your baby right from the start… Even while you are still pregnant.
The day your baby is born, is not the first day of their life. They have been developing inside you for all those months of pregnancy. He or she will be the same tiny person on the outside as they were on the inside. He or she has been getting to know you for months. Take the time to get to know your baby too.

6 Top Tips

  1. Talk to your baby bump. When your baby is born research proves they will already recognise and prefer the sound of their mother’s voice! A new study shows this is even the case for babies born an incredible 3 months early.
  2. Sing and play music to your unborn baby. Different music may get different reactions. Experiment by playing loud rock music, and some gentle classical. From 26 weeks a sudden sound can make your baby jump. A newborn baby will often settle when hearing music that was played before birth. The only reliable way to calm my colicky baby to sleep was dancing round the room with him, listening to Nirvana!
  3. Read stories to your baby bump like Lydia and Dan. Sophisticated (and harmless) brain scanning of newborn babies shows that they recognise and enjoy hearing those familiar stories once they have entered the outside world.  This is brilliant because it’s so easy to include dad who can carry on sharing stories with baby for years to come.
  4. Gently massage and stroke your baby bump. Once baby is moving around it is even possible, over time, to set up a two-way communication. Carefully watch out for a response to your stroking; a pattern developing in kicks and movements.
  5. Your developing baby is even influenced by what you eat, sharing some of the taste sensations. Sweet and strong flavoured foods change the taste of the amniotic fluid.  If you eat sweet flavours your baby will swallow more than normal, whereas sour foods make them more reluctant to swallow.
  6. Look after yourself. Your emotions transfer to baby too.  As our moods change, we produce different hormones. These hormones travel through the placenta and into your baby’s blood stream. If you are stressed your baby feels it too. It is vital to remember that you need to take care of your own needs, for your own and your baby’s sake. Rest when you need to.

When pregnant you are not just a carrying case for your developing baby, you are already influencing the type of person that they become; their closeness to you and their family, their future enjoyment of books, the kind of music they respond to, and even their temperament.
The more you know about your developing baby before you give birth, the more real he or she will become to you, and the easier and stronger your bond.
Try to take the time to start to build your relationship with your baby early in your pregnancy. The start of maternity leave is an ideal time to do our How Babies Learn course, which will help you to build a strong and loving relationship with your baby, one that makes you and them happy.
Do share your thoughts and ideas with us. Did you find it easy to bond with your baby, or did it take a while to develop?

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