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Getting to know your baby

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Getting to know and creating a relationship with your baby is one of the most special things about becoming a parent. It makes you feel good, and it sets your wee one out in life knowing they're loved and looked after.

 

How can I bond with my baby?

Every baby has their own personality and character. Your baby may be quite different to other babies you know. They might differ in their sleep patterns, or how upset they get when they’re hungry. Even how they respond to being held or soothed may be different, so don’t worry, they’re their own individual after all.

However, all babies have the same basic needs. They all need to feel cared for, connected to, and safe.

It might feel hard to find time but your attention is the thing your baby craves the most, so try and make time throughout the day to connect with them. This helps you bond, and is one of the most important things for raising a happy child.

How do babies communicate?

Babies grow fast – and their needs quickly change. As they develop, they can also communicate better and you may find your baby does more than simply cry when they're tired, bored, or need a feed or nappy change – they may find lots of ways to express themselves. So while it's an exciting time there may be moments when you start questioning yourself. Am I doing this right thing? Could I be doing more to help my baby? Any parent will tell you they know what it's like – they've been there too. So we've got some great tips from them to help you.

Top tips from parents

What the parents say

“I would say it’s really important to bond with your baby – I’m not sure that everyone feels it at the start, but if you don’t then that’s fine. I’ve heard stories about people not feeling that bond straight away, but maybe they’re just overwhelmed – with Calen I definitely did feel the bond straight away, just seeing him for the first time is amazing, there’s tears everywhere, the same with his dad. I just think spending that time with them, taking that time, even reading stories, even when they’re just little. Even though they don’t know exactly what you’re saying, but they still know your voice, and it’s just the loving touches, the playing and talking and stroking them and stuff like that that they love and it just builds the bond. I just think that’s really important for your child because it’s unconditional love, they just love you so much, they depend on you and it’s amazing, it’s good.”

Kellie, Mum of 1

What the professionals say

"Touch is such an important part of connecting with your baby. Skin on skin contact is a lovely way to get to know your wee one. That's why your little one is often put on your chest quickly after they are born. It's a natural way for you to form a closeness together, and for them to develop emotionally."

"Responding positively to your baby helps them develop a secure attachment with you. This is a very special connection that babies form with one main person, usually their mum - but both parents can share the experience and dads can help strengthen this attachment, by being supportive and understanding."

“There might be times of the day where your wee one cries more – the early evening is a common time for this to happen. This can be particularly hard for you, as this is when new mums are most tired too! It's important to remember that this is normal, and keep yourself calm then too. Some babies do seem to cry more than others, even if it's not clear why.”

Frequently asked questions

More information

Every relationship between babies and their parents is different. If you want to chat to anyone about connecting with your wee one, you can talk to your health visitor. And if you or your partner want to read up about it, you can also visit Ready Steady Baby.

Last updated: 8 Jun, 2021