A newborn baby girl! One of the most beautiful miracles in life, one of the greatest joys we can ever know, and one of the reasons why there is a little extra sunshine, laughter and happiness in your world today. Attachment, probably one of the most enjoyable parts of caring for an infant, occurs during a sensitive period in the first hours and days after birth, when parents form a deep bond with their infant. Physical closeness can foster an emotional connection. For babies, attachment contributes to their emotional growth, which also affects their development in other areas, such as physical growth.
Another way to think about attachment is to “fall in love” with your child. Children thrive when they have a parent or other adult in their lives who loves them unconditionally. Begin bonding by rocking the baby and gently stroking him or her in a variety of ways. Both you and your partner can also take advantage of being skin-to-skin by holding your newborn against your own skin while nursing or rocking.
Infants, especially premature babies and children with health problems, may respond to baby massage. Certain types of massage can increase attachment and promote growth and development in babies. Many books and videos are about baby massage – ask your doctor for recommendations. However, be careful – children are not as strong as adults, so gently massage the child.
Babies generally love vocal sounds such as talking, babbling, singing and cooing. Your child probably also enjoys listening to music. Baby rattles and music mobiles are other good ways to stimulate your baby’s hearing. If your toddler is fidgety, try singing, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, or reading aloud while you gently rock or rock your baby in the seat.