Build A Bond With Your New Baby
Skin-on-skin contact is an important element of parent-child bonding, adoption or not. Holding and snuggling with baby just in his diaper can help you form a bond with baby. If you co-sleep with baby, lay down with him for a few minutes as he’s falling sleep at night or naptime.
Talk to baby as much as possible so he not only begins to recognize your voice but also to help you bond. Read, sing or simply describe everyday things. Name his body parts when you are dressing him, talk about the items you’re putting in the cart at the grocery store and allow him to overhear your rated-G conversations!
Close eye-to-eye contact with baby is a great way to start the connecting process. Make sure to smile, too! Keep your face close to baby as in his first stages of life, he can only see between eight to 15 inches away.
Feeding baby is a nurturing experience that baby recognizes as bonding. If possible, try to be the first one to feed baby once she is born. Take turns feeding baby so Dad can bond with him as well.
Smile and make silly faces with baby. She can learn to imitate facial expressions and gestures very early on in her young life and this first form of communication to wonderful for bonding.
Gently massaging baby can help you bond and it also combines skin-to-skin contact and touch bonding methods. Check out a book like Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage for detailed methods of baby massage.
A study in the Western Journal of Nursing Research explained that new adoptive parents sometimes experience “post-adoption depression" when the adoption experience doesn’t go as they hoped or expected. If you feel you are suffering from depression associated with your new role as parent or difficulty bonding with your new baby, talk with your doctor right away for some coping methods.