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Bonding with Your Newborn: 10 Ways to Connect

October 9, 2012

Those hazy early weeks with your newborn baby go by quickly. It can be easy to focus mainly on your baby’s feeding, diaper changes, and sleep, especially when, at such a young age, your baby is not very interactive. But here are ten easy ways to connect with your newborn in those not-so-alert first few weeks!

1. Talk, sing, babble away. Your baby has been listening to you speak since the 4th month of pregnancy. The sound of your voice is very familiar after hearing it in the womb, and can calm and orient him.

2. Massage. Infant massage is a wonderful way to connect and can be a great addition to a bedtime routine. Gently rubbing his back, feet, hands, and belly is delightful for you and soothing for her.

3. Walk. Exploring the house while he’s awake will get him used to movement and changing lights, colors, and sounds. (And help new parents get out and get some fresh air!)

4. Stroll. The rhythmic turning of the wheels and the steady motion of your stroller will be very calming for him, in his newborn days and throughout his infancy. Tip: Who said strollers are for outdoor use only? A quick stroll in the house/condo is a great way to get them to settle down for a nap.

5. Smile! Giving your new baby a close-up view of your face smiling, laughing, and talking helps him identify you as his mother and caretaker. Before you know it, she’ll be smiling back (as early as 8 weeks old!).

6. Show him the world in black and white. Black and white photos and baby books are especially engaging to newborn babies, and will help his vision and curiosity develop.

7. Music. Whether you sing her a song or play soothing music at home, the rhythms, beat, and soft tones of music are soothing and may encourage an enthusiasm for music as her hearing and awareness develop.

8. Everyday tasks. If you find it comfortable to wear your baby, try wearing him while you do dishes or fold laundry. Changing movements and a variety of shapes and colors entering and exiting his vision will stimulate him.

9. Give her something to grab. Whether it’s an activity mat or some soft toys, his little fingers want to latch onto objects right now, developing his ability to manipulate items and allowing him to examine objects at close range.

10. Leave him be. If your baby seems content to simply sit in his bassinet or on your lap, gazing around the room, don’t feel badly about allowing him some time to ponder the world on his own.

You may think your baby is too young to really interact with you or engage with the world around him, but these simple practices can really help with bonding in those early days and weeks!

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