Bonding with your baby is an important step during the early stages of life because it encourages healthy emotional attachments and a sense of security that is essential to everyone’s long-term mental health.
Your window for this development is relatively short, so it is important both parents take part to make sure the child has a healthy long-term relationship with the whole family.
1. Create an Even Schedule
The first step toward making sure both parents bond equally is taking equal responsibility for the baby’s needs. That means an even schedule for feeding, tending to night-time care, and changing, among other things.
If a baby gets more time from one parent than the other, then the attachment to one parent becomes stronger than the attachment to the other. Equal time is the foundational step in creating healthy bonds with both parents in practically every bonding parents guide.
Evening out your schedule means more than just dividing the work, though. Dividing play time is also important because social interaction with a parent is how kids learn about emotions and interaction. It’s also how they form secure attachments. Whether you are playing or taking care of an infant’s needs, you should remember a few tips about how to help form that bond.
- Respond to crying right away
- Smile, laugh, and sing songs to your baby
- Hold your baby regularly, and use a sling or carrier when moving around
- Take time out for bonding with your baby
Reading to a very young child can be a great way to show attention and form a bond, especially with babies that are small enough to be held as you read. Holding a baby and wrapping the child properly also promote a sense of physical safety. To find out more about easy bonding activities, make sure you consult a good list of must-haves for newborns that can help you decide what you need.
2. Take Turns Holding Your Baby
You will inevitably wind up having a lot of time where both parents are present during the early days of a child’s life, and that means the split schedule for care and attention will have some heavy overlaps.
It is easy for one parent or the other to wind up holding the baby more often during these shared experiences, and that can cause lopsided attachment as much as if one parent takes on fewer care duties. Make sure you are trading off to maintain equal time when you are all together, not just when you are planning one on one care time.
Planning out your day to make sure your baby has a lot of time with both parents means taking a solid first step toward having a healthy newborn, but there is still more to do. If you are expecting your first child and you need to know what else to do to prepare, it’s a good idea to consult a guide. It also helps to find an all-in-one preparation tool like a baby starter bundle that includes most of the essentials you will need to get through the first days and weeks.