Bonding is the beautiful process of falling deeper and deeper in love with your baby. Here are 5 easy ways to bond with your newborn, starting in the nursery.

Bonding is the beautiful process of falling deeper and deeper in love with your baby. It’s an experience that unfolds differently for everyone, with each day offering many opportunities for warm, affectionate connections:

Touch:  Stroking and caressing your newborn is not only a way to show your love, it is actually beneficial for a baby’s health and development.  Provide skin-to-skin contact with gentle massages. Consider “wearing” your baby in a baby sling so she can be warm, cozy and close to your body. 

Sound: The sound of your voice will quickly become a source of comfort for your baby. You can cuddle, coo and speak to your baby in soothing tones, but not every conversation has to be completely directed her way. Hold her close as you get caught up with a friend by phone and watch her bask in the rhythm and cadence of your voice.

Sight: Even though an infant’s vision is not fully developed (they generally focus best on objects within 8 to 10 inches of their face) studies have shown that babies are responsive to direct eye contact from birth, and prefer to be looked at directly.  So go ahead and stare into that beautiful face, it’s exactly what your baby wants you to do!

Feeding: Every time you feed your baby, it’s an opportunity to bond. Breastfeeding automatically offers a close connection, but bottle feeding can be an intimate experience as well. Make yourself comfortable. Hold your baby close and gaze into his eyes. Relax and enjoy your time together.

Diapering: Changing time can be wonderful bonding time. As you lean over the changing table, your face is at the ideal distance for making eye contact. You can tell stories, sing silly songs, perhaps plant a few tummy kisses. Having a diaper disposal system you can use with one hand, or better yet, hands-free, let’s you keep one hand on the baby at all times.  Great for both bonding and safety!