No parenting book can actually prepare us for the challenges of becoming one. Though we can get as much information as we need from these references, nothing beats concrete experience. The actual parenting world comes with tons of sneaky little surprises that you aren’t sure you’re ready to deal with.
Bringing a new life into this sometimes harsh world isn’t as simple as having a kid for the fun of it. Both parents are responsible for nurturing the child, seeing that the baby gets to fulfill his needs. Infancy is a crucial part of your child’s life where we help him lay down the foundation of his future self – the human being he’s destined to become. Psychologists point out that what happens in childhood can enormously affect the kid in the long run. For example, simple deprivations and lack of attention can lead to your child developing strange tendencies and behaviors such as fixation.
Bonding with your baby might be a normal thing to do, but it actually addresses this issue. Just like a glue that needs time to do its work, establishing a bond with your infant kid is a long-term process. It does not happen overnight. While you make that happen, here are some of the bonding tips and activities you can do and the benefits you get to make sure you get what’s best for your baby.
1. CUDDLE WITH YOUR BABY
Yep, it is pretty simple. Cuddling with your baby is one of the simplest, most natural forms of love that you can give them. Infants usually cry when they need something. When their needs are satisfied, they would often give out a smile, a light touch, or a soft cackle that warms the heart with cuteness.
Our infant first learns about the world through us. Physical touch through cuddling allows your baby to recognize you and identify your scent – assuring them that the world is a safe place and that they are protected. Moreover, regular gentle massages and strokes on the baby allow for a release of hormones that help their brain develop its cognitive abilities such as mental, language, and thought. It also prepares them physically, as our babies learn to respond to our physical touch.
2. SING FOR YOUR BABY
Whether it is a lullaby, nursery rhyme, or a random sweet song to calm them while having a fit, singing for them is an excellent and fun way to bond with your newborn. The best thing about this is that your baby often won’t care so much about your singing – it doesn’t matter whether you can’t hold a tune or two or you got a terrible pitch. For them, just hearing their dad’s voice already gives them comfort. When they recognize your voice, it gives them a sense of security.
Singing for them also trains their mind to identify sounds and recognize good tunes properly. Plus, you get to train your voice and secretly pretend you’re a pop star in front of your baby, so it’s a win-win.
3. TAKE YOUR BABY FOR A WALK
When boredom strikes and the sun is just right, why not get that front baby carrier and take him for a walk in the park? Going for a stroll outside your home allows your baby to absorb warmth and vitamin d from the early morning sun. The fresh air from the trees outside provides a calm, revitalizing effect to the newborn. The things you and your baby see when outside can be your point of interest, your baby, might be unable to communicate it yet, but indeed, the stuff they witness outside the house is a delight to them.
Not only is this activity beneficial for them, but it is also for you! Walking is an excellent form of exercise that often relieves people from anxiety brought by the confines of their homes. However, remember that this is only for physically ready infant children. If your baby has a particular condition, we advise that you consult your pediatrician.
4. PLAY A GAME OF PEEK-A-BOO
Peek-a-boo is a very common game we play with our infants. Every parent had tried this once or twice with their kid, no doubt. But, aside from it is incredibly entertaining for you and your baby, it also positively affects your child’s growth and development.
Unable to use spoken language, infants use facial expressions and body language in an attempt to communicate. Playing a game of peek-a-boo will practice their use of body language and familiarize your facial expressions and as well as your utterances. This game also helps them recognize patterns of behavior and the cause-and-effect relationship of actions, such that when you try to hide your face, they will anticipate something fun will come sooner or later.
5. TALK WITH YOUR LITTLE ONE
Sometimes it may feel foolish talking with your infant kid, mimicking his vocalizations and sounds, but in reality, doing so is probably the best way to help them learn communication. Talking to our little ones allows them to hear and recognize sounds, pitch, speech patterns, and pronunciation little by little. It so precious just to listen to them say, “Dada,” “Papa,” or “Mama” for the first time! Hence, when talking to our tiny little precious, we can do so gently, using the normal instead of ‘baby words’ as our infants tend to imitate our behavior. Speaking to them in ways similar to how they cutely, imperfectly produce sounds may lead them to think that they’re doing it correctly – when in fact, they still just have under-developed muscles and teeth to enable them to.
In addition, we should maintain constant eye contact as well, so they can easily connect to what we are saying. We should make it a point, too, that they see how our lips move when we speak so they can imitate them.