One thing we worried about after deciding to adopt was how we would bond with our baby. But, when we first met Baby B, we instantly felt connected to her. I think after all the years of hoping and praying, we just knew right away she was meant to be in our family. However, we wanted to make sure that she would build a bond with us too.
When we first met Baby B, we did a lot of these things while we were waiting for our ICPC clearance. We still do most of them now, even though she is three months old. We had to remember, even though she is a newborn, we were still strangers to her. She didn’t know our voices or who we were. Even though we loved her instantly, we understood that we would have to take the time to help build the bond between us.
Skin to Skin Contact
During the first three weeks or so, we did a lot of skin to skin with Baby B. Since she just slept most of the time, we would put her on our chest and enjoy being close to her. Skin to skin contact has a ton of benefits like stabilizing the baby’s temperature, heart rate, and breathing. My husband and I each tried to do this for about 20 minutes a day. Since she is older and bigger now, this isn’t something we really do anymore. However, I have heard of people continuing to do skin to skin beyond 3 months.
Babywearing is my favorite! Especially being away from home for the first three weeks of her life, I wore Baby B all the time. This helps baby get used to your scent and voice, and she quickly learned my voice. There are tons of other benefits as well, but I feel like this really helped us bond. She loved it then and still loves it now. Even at three months, she takes her best naps when she is wrapped up in the Moby.
Reading and Singing
My husband and I both love reading to her, and started reading books from day one. Even when she would only be awake for five minutes as a newborn, we would take that time to read to her. My husband also loved singing to Baby B, and still does. This is just another way for baby to learn your voice and get to know you.
Making contact with your new baby is a great way to get to know each other and build that bond. During times like feeding and diaper changes, I look at her and talk to her, even just about random silly things. I think this has helped her get to know me better too and she loves the attention.
Talk and Talk Some More
Like in the above tips, talk constantly to your baby. Even about nothing important, they will start to recognize your voice the more you talk to them. Right after we brought Baby B home, I started taking a medical coding class, so I would just read things out of my books to her. I know she didn’t know what I was talking about (I hardly knew what I was talking about!), but it was another way to become familiar with me and my voice.
Even after just a month or so, we definitely started to feel like we had created a bond with Baby B. By the time she was two months old, it was obvious she recognized our voices and would turn towards us when we spoke. We consistently did the things above, and probably more without realizing it. Every day both myself and my husband continue to feel a growing bond with Baby B.
I am sure there are many other things you can do to bond with your baby. What have you heard of doing or did you do to help with the bond?