Hello, I’m Alli! a Texas-born, Florida-living stay at home mama to a little boy and a couple crazy animals. lover of peanut butter, baby bums, sandy toes, & happy thoughts. I blog over at Happy Girl, Happy World and I am so excited to be here at Kristle’s Clarity to talk about one of my favorite things in the whole world – newborns!
We carry them in our bellies for almost 10 months, watching them move inside of us, listening to their heart beats anxiously at the doctors office, feeling their tiny hiccups and strong legs. We dream of what their skin will feel like, how soft it will be, how delicate, what it will be like to kiss their little lips. Our minds become a traffic jam with millions of questions about what the child will be like racing through our heads. Pregnancy is filled with so much anticipation, and then, suddenly, it’s over and there’s just a tiny baby and a bloated belly, and so many more emotions than you thought you were capable of having.
Then, even more questions – will I be a good parent? can I handle this? will he know how much I love him?
The answer is YES. always, yes. It can be hard, when life is so new and so fragile, to let them know how much they are loved, but there are so many things you can do with your newborn to let them know how loved they are.
breastfeeding (or just feeding in general)
As a newborn, life revolves around nourishment and love. For me, breastfeeding was the first way my son and I bonded. I had him via c-section, so the first time I held him was about 45 minutes after he was born. I felt detached from him, separated, and the moment he latched on to me I forgot about it all. I forgot about the 26 hours of labor, I forgot about how much a failure I felt like, and instead, I focused on the life I had brought into the world and the nourishment I was still able to give him.
Feeding baby is such a bonding experience – it builds trust in a time when communication is pretty much impossible.
Sometimes, Dads and other family members can feel left out when you are breastfeeding. They can feel useless and unnecessary, but it isn’t true. Don’t let their need to feel involved hinder your breastfeeding (if that’s the choice you make) because there are SO many other ways to bond with your newborn other than feeding him.
Maternal instincts are right like 100% of the time. When you’re feeling like the baby wants to be held.. hold him? I know it’s crazy that, in a world where you’re constantly hearing about letting baby cry it out, I’m telling you to do the opposite. But really, when they’re newborns they physically NEED to be held. This is why baby wearing is SO great when children are newborns (and until toddlerhood). I recommend Moby carriers, ring slings, and Boba carriers for newborns.
Post c-section, I couldn’t always hold my son, so my hubby would wrap him up in the Moby for skin-to-skin time, and he would do chores around the house so that I could rest. Happy baby, happy mama, and one super stoked daddy – baby wearing for the win!
Baby wearing is great for grandma, or any other member of the family to be able to bond with baby and not have to be feeding baby!
As always, make sure to watch youtube videos and read up to make sure the carrier you’re using for your newborn is safe for development!
Speaking and singing to your baby is another great way to bond. The songs you start to sing now, will probably be the songs your grandchildren will hear when they’re born – so cool how traditions happen!
I used to snuggle up and just sing about all the thoughts that were in my head. I felt like he understood what I was singing because he always calmed down. Sometimes, I would just wear him and talk out loud all day.
Bath time is another great way for someone other than mama to bond with baby. It’s warm and wet, and it reminds them of the womb. (It’s also the cutest thing ever.) It’s a great way to get some sweet, little baby smiles.
I remember reading about infant massages when I was pregnant and thinking they were kind of ridiculous. Like how was I supposed to MASSAGE a newborn? But my little guy really loves it – it calms him down so much. I just take night time lotion or lavender oil and rub my hands together and gently touch his legs and back and belly. I think it’s more about the scent and the touch than it is about “massaging”.
Ultimately, the purpose of this post is to remind you that bonding to that little squishy life you made is so possible. It’s also possible for dad to bond, and grandma to bond, and aunt to bond, and grandpa to bond, and so on, and so forth. Also, don’t feel bad if you want to hog all your baby’s attention – newborns LOVE their mommy’s attention.
Follow your mommy instincts, have faith in yourself, and enjoy every minute of the newborn phase – it goes by so quickly.
*all photos were done by Christina Klingler
I’d love to connect with you