It is beneficial for parents-to-be to bond with their baby before birth. Research has found that babies whose parents bonded with them throughout pregnancy have more positive emotional, cognitive and social outcomes. Here are 8 ways you can bond with your baby:
1. Talk to your baby
Did you know that your baby can hear you from inside the womb? Talking to your baby every day can help your baby recognise your voice, and calm them after birth. You can also talk to your baby about something new you are trying, or when your baby kicks you, as a form of prenatal bonding.
2. Touch your baby
It is important to massage your belly often, so your baby is exposed to human touch. Research has found that babies in the womb can feel their parents’ touch, and will sometimes respond. You and your partner should spend time talking and massaging your belly, as a way to interact with your baby pre-birth.
3. Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga helps pregnant mothers stretch, practice mindfulness and focus on their breathing. Doing yoga at a certain time each week can create a bonding routine for you to connect with your baby, and gently rock them to sleep. Studies suggest that prenatal yoga can help mothers improve sleep, decrease stress and anxiety, strengthen and reduce lower back pain, nausea and headaches.
4. Involve Your Baby’s Father
Fathers play a crucial role in a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development. That is why fathers should join the prenatal bonding sessions too. Interestingly, human voices are one of the few sounds that will be unchanged in the uterus. So if you and your husband are talking to your baby, he/ she will also acclimate to his/ her father’s voice.
5. Making Gifts
Some mothers may choose to knit baby clothes during pregnancy while conversing with her baby. You can even gain inspiration from your baby – if your baby seems to be excited when you smell a certain scent or music, you can prepare their nursery with that scent and music.
6. Maternity Photoshoot
Find someone to paint your baby bump or dress you up for a photo shoot. Maternity photoshoots are a great way to bond with your baby. You will also have beautiful pictures to show your child and look back at too.
7. Enjoy a Relaxing Bath
A load of being pregnant physically and emotionally can be draining. A relaxing bath can do wonders to help you manage your stress, relax, and bond with your baby.
8. Start a Pregnancy Diary
Documenting your pregnancy journey is a good way to bond with your baby prenatal and when he/ she is older. When your child is older, you can look back at these entries or even gift them for their 18th birthday.
Prenatal bonding lays the base for your baby’s future relationships with you and your family. Now is the perfect time to bond with your baby and get close to them.