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Ways to Cultivate Bonding and Attachment

Eye contact is extremely important.  A baby should always be held while being fed, with eye contact being made throughout.  It is important to make sure you are making face to face contact with your baby, allowing them to see your smiling face, changing expressions, and become familiar and soothed by the sound of your voice.

Loving touches not only nourish your baby’s development, but they also help heighten their sensory awareness.  Feedings are a great time to gently caress your baby’s cheeks, shoulders, and arms.  Baby massage is also another wonderful way to bond while it also benefits your baby by relaxing them and helping to improve their sleeping. 

Talk to Your Baby!  Don’t worry about sounding silly; involve him in your activities by talking about everything that you are doing.  Once your baby starts cooing and making sounds, respond to his expanding vocabulary by echoing those sounds back to him.

Skin to Skin contact is comforting and soothing for both you and your baby.  Cuddle and rock your baby while holding them close to your chest breathing slowly.  The warmth of your body, the smell of your skin, and the beat of your heart are very reassuring, and give them a deep since of security when being held.

Look for opportunities to add a sense of fun and playfulness to your everyday routine.  Take time to sing to your baby while bathing or doing certain activities, your baby will love the effort and attention. 

Play soothing music and gently rock or dance with your baby.  Babies love the music, the movement, and the sense of closeness and connection they feel to you during this time.

Reading is also a wonderful way to bond with your baby while at the same time encouraging the development of their language skills.  It is best to start with large books that have simple bold illustrations, allowing them to have one general focal point.  Cradle your baby in your arms giving him the opportunity to experience the closeness that reading a book together can provide.

Adapted from information by Gail Steinberg “Bonding and Attachment : How Does Adoption Affect a Newborn?” written for OURS MAGAZINE;  www.adoption.com

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