The Importance of Bonding, and Touch: Advice for First-Time Parents

Fist time parents are in for the experience of a lifetime! It is unforgettable. After going through 9 months of pregnancy, a wardrobe of new maternity clothes, new baby strollers, choosing the suitable baby cot, toys, baby showers, and decorating the nursery with care, you have gone through the exciting, heroic experiences of labor and delivery.  You are ready to leave the hospital to begin your new life as first-time parents!

Handling the First-Time Parent Jitters

For many first-time parents, bringing a baby home from the hospital is an exciting experience mixed with apprehension. Parents will have to tackle every problem by themselves now. Silent questions such as “How will I know…,” “How will I cope…,” and “But, what if…” mingle with exuberant joy as you look down at the precious bundle sleeping in your arms.  You’ve got the first-time parent jitters!

Fear not, because all first time parents have gone through it and they survived, so you can too. Your siblings and friends with children, parents, and in-laws have been waiting for this moment, too.  They will offer some good advice on feeding, diapering, and proper baby care. Reading books and magazine helps too, written by baby doctors and psychologists offering guidance on parenting, and the latest in child development research.

When it comes to reading material, be prudent about book selection.  And, don’t be afraid to set down boundaries on visiting times for over-eager friends and relatives. Now with handphones available, we can even search online for any details or information instantly. While you can learn proper baby care from the expertise of others, you and your spouse also need time alone with your baby, to bond.

Bonding with Baby

Since the very first moment the baby was born, your first touch on the baby will start the bonding. Baby could not see clearly at this stage but they can smell. Baby started to know who is touching him/her. This is important, because it is through touch your baby will come to know you.

Breastfeeding creates wonderful bond between mother and baby. Body to body contact will also help the baby with some antibody protection from the mother. Cradling your baby in your lap, and gently stroking him or her is the most basic form of bonding between baby and parent.  Nestling the newborn at your neck is another bonding-touch that provides baby with a sense of security.  Support the baby’s head and neck with one hand, and his or her bottom with the other.

Some of the friends or family member will tell you that holding a baby too much will spoil the child.  It is true a baby should not be picked up each and every time they cry.  As long as they have been adequately fed, are clean and dry, warm and comfortable, a baby does need to learn there are times when they should rest, or entertain themselves.

Spending quiet moments alone with infant without other distractions are good to form the emotional connection between child and parent. Parents who form this type attachment with their newborn make better parents.  They are better equipped and more willing to make the necessary sacrifices to care for their child; during infancy as well as through childhood. They watch their child grow up and will not miss the precious moment.

Newborns provided the benefit of gentle contact and tender touch by parents feel loved and secure.  This sense of well-being impacts both their emotional growth and physical development.

The Importance of Touch

Gentle, loving contact when holding your baby is important. Never to be rough and harsh jostling, especially with a newborn, can not only frighten your baby, but be life-threatening, as well.

Always be careful to support your newborn’s head and neck when you carry them up, or lay them down.  If you need to wake up your newborn, do not startle them by jostling or shaking them.  Instead, by tickling their feet gently, softly blow on their cheek, or tenderly rub the side of their head while speaking softly and calling their name.

Talk in a low, comforting tone, or quietly sing to them.  When eye contact is made, smile even if their eyesight has not developed enough yet to see clearly.

Providing a safe clean environment, adequate nutrition, and comfortable clothing to you baby is crucial to keep you baby feel secure and comfort. They can feel your love and present. There is a lot of sacrifices to be done, however it is worth each penny spent to see your baby grow healthy and happy. Keep in mind that they grown up sooner than you can realized. Appreciate each moment you spent with your child no matter what situation you faced.

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