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I just want to say that breastfeeding is not bad. On the other hand, choosing not to breastfeed is not bad. I believe that it is a good choice to breastfeed if a mother is able, but if she’s not, for whatever reason, that is okay. I am not going to go into details about why it’s a good choice to breastfeed and all the reasons one may not be able to, but if you want to hear about my choice, you can read another article I wrote here.
Here, I want to share ways for you to bond with your baby, whether you’ve chosen to breastfeed or not. Also, fathers don’t breastfeed, of course, so these tips can be for new dads as well! If you are a new parent, congratulations! Your life is forever changed, There will be hard days, there will be great days, there will be many precious moments. If you are a grandparent, I encourage you to bond with this precious life, as well. This little one needs you. If you are an aunt or auntie, take these tips as well. It is a parent’s responsibility to care for and raise a child, but I believe in the African Proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
So go head, Mama
Go ‘head, Papa.
Go ‘head, Auntie.
Go ‘head, Uncle.
Go head, Grandma.
Go ‘head, Grandpa!
- Bottle feeding. Breastfeeding is an intimate way to feed your child, so it is highly praised, but bottle feeding is also a bonding experience: For mother and father alike.
- Skin to skin contact. Just sitting with your child on your chest or belly, skin to skin is a great way to bond with a newborn baby. In the hospital, they encourage this right after birth, but it can be continued at home.
- Bath time. The act of washing, lotioning, and dressing your baby is also intimate and is a great way to bond.
- Singing. Singing nursery rhymes or even your own favorite songs to your baby will help her development, as well as create a bond between the two of you.
- Reading to him. Reading to your child is one of the best things you can do for his development, and will encourage bonding because he is learning from you and you two are enjoying the experience of the book together.
- Having a special place you go with your baby. This is an excellent way to bond with him or her. Pick a place such as a park, the library, Barnes and Noble, Target, or maybe a museum. Someplace that you love to go, and now, as a parent, can share and enjoy with your child.
- Teach her to read early. Start with flashcards with sight words. Also, a great program to use is My Baby Can read. This system is great because it includes DVD videos that teach sight words and pronunciation, as well as flashcards and books. There are different sets to choose from, but this is a good option to start with:
It is a blessed thing to be able to bond with your new baby, and no one can really understand it until that newborn little sweetheart is right in your arms and you are doing it. Being a mother. Or being a father. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Learn. Learn from the day-to-day, learn from peoples’ experiences who you trust. Watch YouTube videos, read good parenting books. This child is yours. The Lord entrusted him to you, and you can do this!