When baby arrives

Our earliest relationships build the foundations for lifelong mental, emotional, and physical health. We all bond with our babies in different ways, and to our own and our babies’ timescales.

Bonding can feel like a magical process, some parents are struck all of a sudden and soon after birth, but bonding is much more than this. Bonding doesn’t happen instantly like super glue. It’s a gradual process and can be started when you and your baby feel ready.

Bonding will mostly come from the constant intimate moments and from the routine of attending to your baby’s needs. For your baby, being held in your arms, coming to know the feel, smell, and sound of you is the major part of her life.

As your baby tries to communicate her/his needs and you try to understand and meet those needs, he/she develops trust in you and becomes attached to you. You are both learning and getting to know each other.

You may want to use the same prompts mentioned above to help you tune into your baby’s wellbeing. Spend time baby watching and wondering, think about what they might be thinking and feeling.

Head Heart Body Hands

  • Head: Wonder what might your baby be thinking?
  • Heart: Wonder how you baby might be feeling? Happy/ Sad / Angry/ Happy/ Excited/ Anxious/ Frustrated
  • Body: What does your baby’s movements tell you about them? What does your baby’s body colour or body tone tell you about how they might be feeling and what they might need? Maybe baby your baby is feeling out of sorts and you can see his skin is mottled?
  • Hands: What do I need to do? What does my baby need from me? Maybe he needs you to hold, comfort and talk to him about how is feeling?

Part of learning about your baby is recognising when your baby is ready to play, sleep, cuddle, rest, and feed. All babies have different levels of wakefulness throughout the day. Learning how to recognise your baby’s ‘state’ will help you know how to respond to them at different times. The following webpage has lots of helpful information about baby’s states and how to tune into your baby’s cues. Your Baby and You: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust