You naturally develop an emotional bond with your baby simply by spending time together, being physically close, and responding to his or her cues. Although the bond does not require special planning, keep the following in mind:
- Respond to your newborn's crying. Newborn babies cannot act with forethought, so they are not capable of being manipulative. You will not spoil your baby when you respond promptly and lovingly to his or her crying. In fact, when you quickly satisfy your baby's physical and emotional needs, he or she learns that the world is a safe and predictable place.
- Make eye contact with your baby frequently, such as during feedings. Babies love to look at your face and eyes. When you cuddle your baby in the crook of your arm, you are about the perfect distance for your baby to see you well.
- Keep your baby warm, snug, and close to you. Close physical contact with your baby promotes your mutual attachment by making your newborn feel secure. You may want to use a supportive front pack or similar carrying device to keep your baby close to you. You can also swaddle or wrap your baby in a blanket to create a comforting, womb-like feeling. When you swaddle your baby, keep the blanket loose around the hips and legs. If the legs are wrapped tightly or straight, hip problems may develop.
- Smile, gently talk, nod, rock, and sing to your baby.
When your baby develops a strong emotional attachment to you, he or she builds a foundation for establishing positive relationships throughout life.
Current as of: August 21, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics