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    Bonding & building attachment with a newborn child

    Creating an attachment with your newborn child is just an amazing feeling, it is basically you responding to your child’s needs by giving warmth, care, and love.

    When a child experiences that with you, it gives you the role of being that trusted person in the child’s life, whether adopted or biological.

    Why it is important to bond with your newborn

    When you give your newborn what they need from you, it may be a touch, the sound of your voice, a smile, or a cuddle, your newborn will eventually let his/her guard down and will feel that the world is a safe place to play, learn and explore. This lays the foundation for your child’s development and well-being throughout childhood.

    Another aspect we need to remember is that bonding also helps your baby grow mentally and physically.

    For example, when a child is born premature, it is believed that human contact can help with the child’s growth.

    Repeated human contact like touching, cuddling, talking, singing, and gazing into each other’s eyes make your newborn’s brain release hormones.

    Bonding & building attachment with a newborn child, EntertainmentSA News South Africa

    These hormones help your baby’s brain to grow. And as your newborn’s brain grows, your newborn starts to develop memory, thought, and language.

    Understanding your newborn’s bonding behaviour

    Your newborn uses body language to show you when they want to connect with you and strengthen the bond between you. For example, your newborn might:

    smile at you or make eye contact make little noises or laugh look relaxed and interested.

    When you notice and respond to your baby’s cues and body language in warm and loving ways, your baby feels secure. This also helps your baby learn about communication, social behaviour, and emotions and encourages your baby to keep communicating. It all helps to build your relationship with your baby.

    How to bond with your newborn

    Warm, gentle affection makes your newborn feel safe and builds your bond. You can also build your bond through your interactions with your newborn – for example, when you give your newborn things to look at, listen to, and feel. This gets your newborn’s brain working and makes it grow.

    Here are some ideas:

    Make sure that you touch and cuddle your newborn. From when they are born, newborns can feel even the gentlest touch. Try stroking your newborn gently when you change a nappy or at bath time.

    Respond to crying. You might not always be able to tell why your newborn is crying. But by responding, you let your newborn know that you’re always there.

    If you can, try holding your baby. Try rocking or holding your newborn against you, skin on skin. Or carry your baby in a carrier or sling.

    Main Image: Mother and Child/Unicef

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