Bonding to New-Born Babies
A mother is born when her first child has arrived. The American Psychologist Daniel Stern has said something like that.
The strong and good feelings for the child comes sometimes quickly and at times slowly.
Baby’s need for sleep is very big. About 15-18 hours per 24 hours the first month. That means you are not “on” all the time. More on this subject later.
You can do things yourself, which help the bonding process.
- Put the baby directly on your bare chest. If the room is warm the little one could wear a diaper or a convenience cloth. This kind of skin to skin contact calms down the new-born baby and helps him to adjust to the new life.
- Speak gently and describe what you see and sense about baby’s needs. When ever he needs to be breast-fed let him have free admittance. By watching you will learn to know what’s going on. Hungry, tired or alert to study you.
- The fathers backing the mother up will enable her to relax and believe that she can breast feed the child (or manage feeding with infant feeding formula) and loving the baby.
Let the awake moments be a high lighted time. You might be very tired yourself, but it pays off to be generous and make it a priority to get eye contact and smile to baby at a short distance. ( 25 cm./10 inches).
He can only see you clearly at that distance. Good to remember also when you change the little one. Every awake moment should be spent investing in this emotional development.
The bonding process is like a “pas des deux” where the two ballet dancers dance together perfectly without stepping on each other’s feet.
I found a powerful example of the skin to skin contact that literally saved the premature baby. See the link above if you wish.
I will underline the need for trying to guess the need, so that you feed when he is hungry and put to sleep when tired. It sounds simple, but I regard it as a fine art and I have helped many confused and exhausted parents to read the signs.
I know too well that some parent themselves is lacking the love from their parents. That makes it so difficult to give, what you don’t have.
But the child is very responsive to physical care, close eye contact and kind supportive words spoken in the situation. Very quickly baby will look back intensively and relax in your arms.
This will convince you that you are able to meet baby’s needs and give you the joy that is so important.
Susan Hart a Danish psychologist is writing books on the child’s emotional development in regard the brains development too. She describes that lack of eye contact and warm smiles deprives the baby of sleep and getting a daily rhythm.
Putting your baby’s needs before your own is natural to many new mothers and a feeling of great loss to others. Doing it any way pays off and the result is a happy baby easier to relate to and he gets a better all round developement.
Feel free to ask me questions on this subject, if you would like something explained.