Bonding with your baby

It is also important to take time to bond with your baby. Babies are extremely sociable and have a strong need to be close to their parents. Holding, smiling, and talking to your baby will help them to feel secure and loved. When babies feel secure, they release a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone supports their brain growth, helping them to be happy babies and confident children and adults.

We have included a few tips below to help you start bonding with your baby:

  • Hold your baby on your chest to help them feel safe and relaxed.
  • Move and sway while you are holding your baby. Most babies find a side-to-side motion soothing.
  • Chat and play with your baby while you are changing their nappy or dressing them.
  • Talk, read, and sing to your baby. They will love hearing your voice.
  • Consider wearing a baby sling or a baby carrier when you take your baby out for a walk in the fresh air.
  • Learn your baby’s cues, so you can recognize when they are overstimulated and need a break. For example, they may turn away from you or become fidgety.
  • Keep your baby close to you so that you start to recognize their feeding cues. Responding to these feeding cues will make your baby feel safe.
  • Have regular skin-to-skin time with your baby (cuddle them against your bare chest). This will allow them to familiarise themselves with your smell. Listening to your heartbeat will also comfort and calm them.
  • Bath your baby or consider having skin-to-skin time in the bath with your baby.
  • If you give your baby any expressed breast milk, hold them close during feeds and look into their eyes. For more information about paced bottle feeding, please visit:

The tips above will also increase your oxytocin release, which will help you to feel calm and happy too.

For more information on bonding and responsive parenting, please watch Solent NHS Trust’s short video on responsive feeding:

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