6 Ways Of Bonding With Your Newborn That Helps Their Social Development

Being a mother to a newborn baby comes with sleepless nights, early mornings and probably a lot of running around – but it’s all rewarding. However we don’t blame you if you’re a little stressed, so if you’re a new mother who is looking for ways to emotionally connect with her baby in a way that aids in their social development, scroll down. Our follower, Mariam Javed, outlines 6 ways that you can create a bond with your baby which will allow them healthy social development:

1. Have Conversations With Your Baby

Note the times that your baby is awake, calm and responsive. This is the best time to connect with your baby. Activities like reading a book or pretending you’re on a phone call will help them to understand the tempo of a conversation. It encourages them to develop their verbal and communication skills, and to use the ever growing store of sounds they have. Talking and playing with the baby is an activity that allows you to nurture and breed a connection with them, as well as build on their social, verbal and hearing skills. Even if you’re just reading the newspaper, your baby will love hearing your voice.

2. Sing To Your Baby

Singing to your baby is meant to be great for their brain development and stimulates their abilities of realisation and perception. According to a recent study by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) in California, lullabies don’t just soothe and comfort the baby, but also have a healthy effect on their cognitive development. It leads them to pay more attention to their mothers or caretakers and display more positive emotions towards them. Music therapy in general is known for boosting a baby’s memory and mental capabilities.

3. Maintaining Eye Contact

Try to make eye contact with your baby while feeding, playing and even simply cradling her. It helps to establish an emotional connection and she’ll enjoy looking at your face and maintaining that eye contact. When a baby looks at her parents’ eyes and face, she starts making associations – those between food and feeder, voices and persons, a smile and what it means to be happy or loved, etc. Thus, it helps to develop their emotional intelligence, as well as their attachment to you.

4. Give Your Baby A Soothing Bath

Don’t rush while giving a bath to your baby. Try to make it a relaxing and soothing experience and use this time to connect with them. Playing with bath toys and adapting different voices aids in your baby’s comprehension of various sounds, materials and sensations, such as the splashing of water. Bath time can be fun, enjoyable and a great bonding experience for the both of you!

5. Skin To Skin Contact

Touch is one of the first senses to develop in a baby. Their mouth, cheeks, face, hands, tummy and soles are the most sensitive to touch. Babies are comforted by skin to skin contact and it is in fact recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics for at least one hour after a baby is born. It is the practice of placing the baby on the mother. The front body of the baby is touching front body of the mother during this interaction and the baby is dressed only in a diaper to maximise the surface to surface contact. Within minutes, this stabilises the baby’s temperature, breathing, and heart rate. Over time, it has proven to improve neurobehavioral maturation, sleep patterns, crying and growth, especially in premature babies. Touching and holding the babies close doesn’t spoil them, but it actually comforts them and builds a strong bond with the mother. A long-term study of babies in the NICU of an Israeli medical centre found that ten years later, those who had been exposed to skin to skin contact had better maternal attachment behaviour, reduced maternal anxiety and enhanced child cognitive development.

6. Respond To Their Crying

You can’t always know why your newborn is crying, but reacting to it can help them in feeling safe and secure. Penelope Leach, in her book Essential First Year – What Babies Need Parents to Know says that in the first year, crying is the only way the babies know how to emote or express their need for something. Ignoring that or denying a response can lead to long term emotional consequences.

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