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Our Favourite Tips for Bonding with Your Baby

Bonding with your baby after giving birth is the foundation of a magical tie between you and your child, that will last a lifetime. Here's how to do it well


Bonding with a new baby is important for everyone but when to start and how to approach it can be confusing - so we asked the experts at Baby Bjorn, a Swedish company who makes innovative products for children aged 0-3 years, for their advice.  

Bonding explained

The bonding process between parent and baby develops during the first twelve months of the infant's life, primarily by them having close contact with their parents; it is acknowledged that skin-to-skin is the best form of this but all contact is good and facilitates this essential process.

Parent/new born bonding is not just about feeling good, it was originally about survival. A close connection between baby and parent provides a cloak of protection for a helpless child in the outside world. When a parent carries their baby they are able to see, interpret and meet their baby's needs. Physical closeness creates an emotional bond that is crucial for a child's development.

The bonding patterns that your baby develops will be reflected in your child's future relationships and behaviour. By giving your baby the opportunity to physically and emotionally bond with you at an early age, you also help them to trust other people in later life and be self-assured.

Research has shown that infants just two hours old make their first attempts to communicate by closely studying their parent's facial expressions and gestures and listening to their tone of voice. Dr Amanda Weiss Kelly from the Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, one of the largest children's hospitals in the USA stresses the need for this bonding process to take place to ensure future child development. "It is very important that you and your baby bond with each other and this can be easily achieved by carrying your baby around with you, responding to their crying with touch and letting them hear the sound of your voice."

Babies also tend to be calmer and more relaxed when they listen to the sound of their parents' heartbeat and breathing. These are small everyday sounds that your baby recognises from being in the womb and that help the bond grow stronger.

The same is true of facial contact, as Dr Kelly comments, "A baby that is being carried usually likes to have facial contact with you, so it's a good idea to carry your baby so that they can peek up at you and see your face." Babies see faces best at a distance of about 12in/30cm.

The perfect carrier

Choosing a carrier that offers parents the opportunity to have their baby close to them for longer, allows this essential bonding process to flourish, whilst at the same time allowing parents to be hands-free to get things done.

When looking for a carrier, we believe that the seat area should give your child structured head support, an ergonomic wide leg position, extra thick padding in the shoulder straps for parents, as well as a sturdier waist belt that relieves pressure on the shoulders, as well as adjustable positions depending on your child's height and weight.

It's also important to make sure that your baby carrier complies with the strictest regulations.  At the time this article was written, that happens to be the Öko-Tex Standard 100, Class I. This means that they are completely free from harmful substances and are safe for little babies to even chew on.

You should also be looking for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute's "hip healthy" seal of approval. The hips of a newborn baby need the correct support and are held in an optimal position with the legs angled outwards. This encourages the good hip joint development that is so important during the first months of your child's life.

Carrying your baby or toddler is a more popular option than ever as parents are increasingly realising the multiple benefits of this activity, as well as it being practical whether you're in a busy town or walking through the countryside, so comfort and support is paramount.

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