Many mums expect to feel an instant bond the minute they clap eyes on their bundle of joy. But this isn’t always the case. The first few months of your newborn’s life are precious and can be a bit painful for parents — especially if it’s your first time! Sleepless nights coupled with round-the-clock feedings and never-ending diaper duties can get overwhelming and prevent you from forging a strong connection with your peewee.
Traumatic births and postnatal depression can also lead to bonding difficulties. While this is perfectly normal, forging a strong connection should still be a priority as it not only sets the stage for a life-long healthy relationship for the both of you, but it also contributes to your little one’s social development.
According to research done by the University of Illinois, kids with strong parent-child bonds are more responsive and adaptable when socialising with their peers and they also tend to be more sympathetic. If you feel like you need to improve your relationship with your baby, here are four activities that can help you both experience more together.
SWIMMING Take your young’un into the pool as soon as you can — the earlier they get used to the water, the more confident they’ll be as swimmers. In fact, babies can get into the water as early as 2 months — some parents even start them at 6 weeks! Most baby swimming classes let you start when your sweetie is 6 months of age. You might feel anxious taking your fragile babe into the water by yourself, but remain calm, hold her close (make sure to support her neck if it’s still weak) and start off spending just 10 minutes in the water cuddling and bobbing up and down. It’s soothing and a great way to start shedding those pre-pregnancy pounds.
BABY MASSAGE There’s nothing more comforting to a baby than experiencing the tender, loving touch of its mother. Baby massage classes can start almost immediately — in fact, the sooner the better as the benefits are paramount for littles. Parents feedback that it promotes relaxation (which will help them sleep better), aid indigestion (helping them pass trapped wind), strengthen their immune system and also improve their posture. Learning how to soothe your sweetie will also boost your confidence, plus you’ll have to maintain eye contact with every slow, soft stroke. It’s an immensely relaxing and intimate activity.
BABY YOGA You can make silly faces at your mini-me as you do a downward dog pose over her and watch her giggle when you do squats and use her as weights or as you lift her up and down with your legs while you work your core. Doing yoga with your little yogi is incredibly fun and also benefits her. The same moves can be applied to soothe her when she’s fussy at home, plus the exercise also helps her sleep longer and stimulates her mental and physical development.
MUSIC CLASS No baby can resist a catchy tune, plus it’s also one of the best things for her developing mind. Sensory stimulation through music can help connect the billions of neurons in your little one’s brain. As bub explores new sounds, sensations and musical instruments such as shakers, drums and tambourines, you can sing lovingly to her and teach her how to clap her hands.