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Ways to Bond With a Newborn

One of these ways of bonding might help you better bond with your newborn.

Some parents find it easy to bond with their newborns. Others do not. Both responses are natural and honest. Since there are many different ways to build a bond with an infant, we’ve compiled some of the ways others have grown closer to their little ones.

A Dedication Present

At my son’s baby dedication, I asked family and friends to underline their favorite verse and write a few words in a Bible I had chosen just for him. Now when we read the Bible together, it’s a precious way to remember that special day.

Visit Asheritah Ciuciu’s website to learn more about her ministry.

© 2019 Asheritah Ciuciu

Say Yes to Help

As new parents of twin girls, we were reluctant to ask for or receive help. But being overwhelmed by
tasks and not having enough time to enjoy our girls forced us to set aside our pride and say yes to
offers of assistance from friends, family and church members. From meal trains to friends offering
to come and wash dishes or clothes — what others did for us allowed us time to bond with our girls.

© 2019 Tiah Lewis

Preemie Bonding

Bonding with my premature baby proved difficult. She rested in a temperature-controlled incubator
while hooked up to a ventilator to help her breathe. The primary methods for bonding — nursing and physical touch — were not options. So instead, I cradled her with my voice. At her bedside, I
quietly sang worship songs to her, and I even subbed her name into the lyrics of “My Girl.”

© 2019 Kelsey Messner

Love for Each One

I found it more difficult to bond with my new baby when my attention was needed by her older
siblings. Here are three ways I chose to bond with my newborn:

  • As I cared for her physical needs, a natural bond formed. I gave myself grace for the times
    I was tending to her siblings, reassured that my baby knew she was loved and cared for.
  • Then I wrote down precious moments with my baby daughter as soon as they occurred, even if I had to speak them into my phone or grab a napkin to jot down my thoughts. Later I wrote these memories in her baby book.
  • I came up with a unique lullaby for each child. Now I have four children with
    four different lullabies. The lullabies have become an individual bond I have with each

© 2019 Amy Traurig

4 Ways to Bond With an Adopted Newborn

I was there when the little girl I would adopt was born. Standing in the delivery room, I tried to get a glimpse of her. How would she look? Would it be love at first sight? What if I felt differently than when my biological son, Joey, was born? What if I fell for this baby and then the birth mom changed her mind?

When I finally got to hold her, I wanted to tell her, “Mama is here!” But I didn’t yet know if this really would be my girl. Falling head over heels in love felt risky.

A few days later we were able to bring our baby girl home from the hospital. I found myself cautiously bonding with her — afraid of the pain I’d feel if the adoption didn’t go through. Before long, I intentionally decided to love her and bond with her, for as long as I was given time with her. Months later, the adoption was finalized. Here is what I did to successfully bond with my newborn:

Kangaroo Care

My biological babies were all born premature. One of the therapies I used to help them thrive was “kangaroo care.” It simply means skin-to-skin snuggling, with the baby lying chest-to-chest with the parent. I used this to bond with my adopted daughter, to get her used to the sound of my heartbeat. The close physical contact allowed her to hear, feel and smell her new mom. I scheduled kangaroo time right after our last feeding before bed. That way I knew I wouldn’t get too busy to take the time to snuggle.

Rapid Response

I tried to use the 30-second rule in responding to my daughter’s basic needs. When I heard my baby cry, I tried to respond to her within 30 seconds. This was either verbally (“Mama will be right there!”) or physically (immediately going to see if she needed to be changed, fed or just snuggled). Meeting a baby’s real needs in the first months will not spoil a child. While we shouldn’t come running at every little peep, babies do need to learn that their basic needs will be consistently met, and that Mom and Dad are the people who do that.

Face Time

Even though I wasn’t the first person to gaze into my baby’s eyes, I knew she would thrive on the long gazes and expressive faces of her mom and dad. Eye contact is an important part of relationships for all people, especially infants. Babies need eye contact and physical touch just as they need food to grow and develop. And the development is not only physical; watching our facial expressions is instrumental in how the brain gets wired to trust and learn empathy.

Food Bonding

I wasn’t always enthusiastic about early morning feedings. But I tried to see each feeding as a prime bonding opportunity. Every time you feed your baby, he or she is learning to associate the contentment of being full with the love of a parent. Make sure you are holding your baby close and making a clear connection between food and bonding. Prioritize those times and give your baby your attention, as your hearts grow closer together.

© 2015 Cindy Rasmussen

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Entertainment Reviews Your Family Can Trust

Plugged In shines a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate, and impact the culture in which they live. Let us help your family make wise and informed choices about movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more!
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Talk to a Counselor

If you need further guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional counselors who offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a Focus on the Family counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well

"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?" Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language

In this free 6-part video series, Cynthia Tobias, author of many popular parenting books including You Can’t Make Me, explains why your strong-willed child thinks in certain ways and gives you effective tools you can use when communicating with him or her. Start today!

Get Equipped With the Truth So
You Can Bring Light to the Lies

Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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