Research shows that connecting with your little one helps make him happier and healthier. We share the sweetest, simplest ways to bond with your new baby.
From a morning cuddle while feeding baby to a story before bed, there's opportunity to grab some quality bonding time with baby throughout each day.
1. Cuddle with your cutie. Studies show that human touch is an amazing way to show others we care without saying a word. It's also the start of communication with your baby, who finds it especially soothing to be held and have some skin-to-skin contact with you. Take a seat in a quiet spot and spend some time nuzzling your little one.
2. Make time for massage. Another lovely way to bond through touch is by giving baby a relaxing massage. After a bath or right before bed, gently rub baby's arms, legs, tummy, and back. You can do it with or without lotion -- either way, she's sure to love it.
3. Engage in eye contact. When feeding Baby and holding him, try to make as much eye contact as possible. This is one of your baby's first ways of bonding and communicating with you. Studies show that maintaining eye contact with your little one makes her feel safe and secure, while also establishing the foundation for social skills needed later in life.
4. Respond to baby's needs. A good part of bonding with Baby is making him feel secure with you. Parents can do that by comforting baby when he cries, feeding him when he's hungry, changing his diapers when needed -- you get the idea. Remember, there is no such thing as spoiling or giving too much attention to a newborn.
5. Read to baby. It's never too early to share the love of reading with your child -- and even newborns can benefit from it. It's special one-on-one time with her, and also enables her to hear the soothing sound of your voice. In fact, a recent study found that reading to babies in the NICU can help parents develop the same feelings of intimacy that parents of healthy newborns cultivate in the days and weeks after a baby's birth.
6. Smile. Simply seeing your happy face is enough to make baby happy, too. And believe it or not, he is studying your facial expressions and will soon start to mimic them. Seeing your baby smile for the first time will surely leave you grinning from ear to ear.