That perfect, warm sensation when they first placed my newborn daughter on my chest and she was the exact same temperature as me…I can still feel it. She had just been born but it seemed for a few more minutes that she was still part of me. I never wanted that moment to end.
We carried sparks of that feeling through her infancy, toddlerhood, and beyond through practices that many people call “Attachment Parenting.” In a lot of ways, my firstborn did not give me much of a choice in the matter. She never wanted to be put down. If I wanted to eat, vacuum, shop, read, or do just about anything, I had to do with her in my arms.
Since then, I have had the joy of experiencing infancy with two more babies and now I have another due this fall. Here are some of the ways my babies and I have bonded:
1.Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding has been an important part of my relationship with each of my babies. Breastfeeding really forced me to slow down and focus on my infant several times a day. In some ways, it forced me to let small things slide and truly savor motherhood…whether I was in the mood to or not.
2. Babywearing: Babywearing is the glue in our attachment parenting. It has allowed us to bring our babies to formal events, nature hikes, fairs, stores, and all sorts of places where a stroller is inconvenient. Babywearing makes breastfeeding on the go so much easier and more comfortable. Babywearing allowed me to do chores around the house when my first was colicky. Most importantly, babywearing literally brings both parents close to baby. I’m excited about the Boba carrier because, in addition to all of my favorite features of a soft carrier, it also has storage pockets, rests for little feet, and, my personal favorite, a purse strap holder because that bag always slips down when I am carrying a kid…especially when I am chasing after an older sibling!
3. Bath time: Bath time is bonding time. Playing in the bath, wrapping baby in a warm towel, and then massaging baby with lotion or oil is a nice way to be close to baby–especially at the end of a long day.
4. Co-sleeping: Sometimes we co-slept with baby, sometimes we didn’t, depending on the age, stage, and personality of each child. When we did, it allowed me to get rest while night-feeding. Although I know this can be a controversial issue, I believe co-sleeping can be done safely and be a way for everyone to be close and get a good night’s sleep.
5. Reading: We read every day. We read from Day 1. And reading has become a special time with our children. Even now, when things get a little crazy with the 7, 5, and 2 year old, I can say, let’s read a book and we all settle in on the couch, snuggle close, and relax.
6. Making Music: Music was a part of my childhood and I’ve made sure it is a part of my children’s as well. Music is a non-verbal way of communicating. We play, sing, and dance to share joy, shake out frustrations, and create together.
7. Laughter: Playing and laughing together is something we can all share, regardless of our parenting philosophy.
Here are some more ways to bond with your baby:
Our babies may not remember much from infancy but I do believe they carry with them the sense memory of being held, cherished, and loved. That security will help them explore and learn as they grow.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boba. The opinions and text are all mine.