You know that your love for your adopted child is immense and unconditional – even if you haven’t met him or her yet. But how do you show your baby that love when you bring him or her home? Will there be any challenges with bonding as an adoptive family?
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can bond with your baby. All babies need certain forms of contact and communication from their parents to develop a strong relationship. With these tips, you and your baby can have a happy, healthy bond from the beginning.
Respond to Your Baby’s Needs
One of the most essential ways to bond with your baby is also common-sense: simply being a parent. It’s especially important in the first few months of life that parents quickly and consistently respond to their baby’s cries, because this is the primary way infants bond in the beginning.
It is also recommended that you or your partner be the only ones to feed or change your baby for the first couple of months. This helps the baby get used to recognizing you as his or her parent.
Turn Feeding into Bonding
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, meal time is a great opportunity to feel close with your baby. One way to do this is by making eye contact while feeding, but there are many other things you can do as well. This handy list also suggests switching arms during feeding, limiting distractions, and more.
Give Lots of Affection
Snuggling is an indisputable sign of affection, and you can’t give your newborn baby enough of it. Some other kinds of affection that many babies enjoy include:
- Stroking the cheek
- Hand holding
- Enjoying a bath together
- Gentle massages
You’ll also naturally be holding your baby a lot, which is comforting in and of itself – your baby will feel closer to you just from hearing your heartbeat.
Talking to your baby not only establishes a connection, but it helps to develop your baby’s language skills. Babies absorb an incredible amount of information just from listening to you talk, and your baby will also know that you are acknowledging him or her.
If your baby seems to take a while to adjust to the new surroundings, don’t worry. All babies, adopted or not, need time to get used to their environment. You and your baby will bond at your own pace, so don’t rush it – just enjoy getting to know one another.