How to Bond with a Newborn When Bottle-Feeding
From the moment you bring your baby into the world, you can begin bonding with her. Bonding creates an attachment between you and your newborn. It gives your baby a sense of security and ultimately can affect her cognitive and social development, according to KidsHealth.,
Whether you’re unable to breastfeed or have decided bottle-feeding is best for you and your baby, feeding times are a natural time to bond with your baby and shower her with love.
Methods to Bond with a Newborn When Bottle-Feeding
Feed your newborn a bottle as soon as possible, taking advantage of your baby’s alertness after birth, advises KidsHealth. This isn’t always an option, but, if you had an uncomplicated birth, you can request that you or your partner be the one to give your baby his first bottle. After this, offer him a bottle whenever he cries for food.
As you learn to read his cues and respond to his cries of hunger with a bottle, he will learn to trust you and know you’ll provide sustenance for him when he needs it. This responsiveness helps create a bond.
Remove your shirt and undress your baby down to her diaper. Hold her snugly next to you while you feed her a bottle. Skin-to-skin contact can comfort her, make her feel even closer to you and give her a sense of security. Keep you and your baby comfortably warm with a blanket.
Talk to your newborn gently or sing to him as you’re giving him his bottle. Your voice is consoling and soothing. He listened to your voice for nine months in your womb, so hearing you is comforting for him.
Make eye contact with your baby while you’re feeding her and offer her lots of smiles. Let her look at your face and get to know it better. Newborns like to look at faces and eyes. Bring your face close to hers so she can see you more clearly. At this stage of her life, she can see things better if they’re no more than 8 to 15 inches away, notes WebMD.
Keep distractions to a minimum when you’re feeding your newborn his bottle. Turn the television off, put your cellphone out of arm’s reach and focus solely on your bundle of joy.
Allow your spouse, older children and your parents to have a turn feeding your newborn a bottle so they have the opportunity to bond with her, too. Encourage them to talk to her, make eye contact and touch her to form a connection.
Tips and Warnings
- Accept help for other tasks when it’s offered, such as cleaning and cooking. This will give you more free time to focus on and bond with your newborn.
- Limit visitors after you bring your baby home from the hospital to give you and your partner more time to adjust to having a newborn and time to bond with her.
- If you’re worried you aren’t bonding with your baby, speak with your doctor to rule out any health issues or postpartum depression, advises KidsHealth.
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