A blood bond is a strong bond formed between parents and children. This link makes parents always want to give their children the sweetest care and love. And they always want to protect and nurture their little child. This association keeps parents awake in the middle of the night to breastfeed and makes them pay attention to every cry of their baby.
Scientists are still doing a lot of research on the parent-child bond. They know that the bond is strong between parents and children so that parents try to give their child the first concept of love and cultivate a sense of security and confidence in them. Parental response to infant cues may affect cognitive and social development in children.
Why is parent-infant bonding important?
Image: Parent-infant bonding is very important
Bonding with parents is essential for children. Research in baby monkeys when exposed to a mother monkey dummy show that even if the mother monkey dummy is made of soft material and can give the baby monkey milk to drink, baby monkeys that can interact with real mother monkeys still integrate into the community better. Baby monkeys who lived with their mother in a dummy were also more likely to be frustrated. Scientists suspect that the lack of care from parents in babies can also cause the same problem.
Most babies are ready to interact with their parents soon after birth. Meanwhile, parents may have mixed feelings. Some parents feel an intense attachment within the first minutes or days after their baby is born. For other parents, specially when the child is adopted or has to be in the intensive care unit, it may take longer to form a bond.
But bonding between parents and children is a process. It doesn’t just happen for a few minutes or only last for a certain amount of time after giving birth. For many parents, bonding arises from day-to-day child care. You may not even know it’s happening. Until you see your baby’s first smile, and suddenly realize that you are filled with love and happiness.
How children bond with you
Picture: Baby interacting with parents
When you’re a new parent, it usually takes a while to get to know your child and know all the ways you can interact with him/her:
- Touch becomes the first language when babies respond to skin-to-skin contact. It feels good for both you and your baby. It also promotes healthy growth and development of children.
- Eye contact is a meaningful means of communication at close range.
- Children can follow moving objects.
- Your child will try to quickly imitate your facial expressions and gestures.
- Babies love human voices and love making sounds to try to communicate. Young children often enjoy listening to your conversations. As well as how you would describe your child’s activities and environment.
Ways to create engagement
Image: A mother breastfeeds her baby to create a bond with her baby
Bonding with children is perhaps one of the most enjoyable moments about childcare. You can start by picking your baby up and gently stroking them in a variety of ways. If both you and your husband (or wife) hold and pet your baby often, children will soon recognize the difference between each person. Each person should also take advantage of the opportunity to directly touch the baby’s skin by holding the baby while feeding or holding the baby.
Massage can be good for babies, especially premature babies and those with health problems. Because babies are not as healthy as adults. You need to massage the baby very gently. Before trying baby massage, be sure to learn the proper techniques by reading many books, watching many movies and websites on the subject. You can also contact your local hospital to find out if infant massage classes are available where you live.
Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding are both natural times to bond with your baby. Babies respond to the mother’s smell and touch as well as the parents’ responsiveness to their needs. In the case of childbirth without complications, caregivers must make every effort to utilize the waking hours immediately after birth to hold and feed the infant. However, this is not always possible and although it can be very ideal. The interaction right after birth is not really necessary for the bond between the child and the parents in the future.
Adoptive parents may worry about the bond between the child and the family. Although it depends on the case that the association occurs sooner or later, both adoptive parents can have an emotional attachment to their children just like biological parents.
Bonding with Dad
Picture: Father taking care of the baby to create a bond between father and son
Fathers today spend more time with their children than previous generations. Although fathers often desire closer contact with their children. This interaction occurs less frequently than the mother, in part because he is not breastfeeding.
But fathers should understand that bonding with their children does not mean being a second mother. In many cases, the father shares special activities with the child. Both parents will find it beneficial when they can support and encourage each other.
Creative activities that both parents can do together include:
- Stay together during pregnancy and birth.
- Breastfeeding (breastfeeding or bottle-feeding), sometimes fathers can also create a special bond with the baby when changing diapers or feeding late at night.
- Read stories or sing songs to children.
- Bathing children.
- Imitate children’s actions.
- Mimic the whispers and other sounds the child makes when he or she tries to communicate with you.
- Use a crib that faces the baby’s face forward in everyday activities.
- Let the child feel the different emotional expressions on the father’s face.
Building a system that supports cohesion
Of course, interacting with your child will be easier if those around you are supportive and help you develop confidence in your abilities as a parent. That’s why experts recommend keeping your baby in your room at the hospital. Although taking care of children will be difficult at first. But you will get psychological help from the medical staff and start to become more confident in your ability to be a parent. Although parents of premature babies or children with special needs are often not housed with the child, the support of medical staff can make their bonding with the child easier.
At first, caring for a newborn can take up nearly all of your attention and energy – especially for someone who is breastfeeding. It’s much easier to bond if you’re not exhausted by all the other things you have to do at home, such as housework, meal preparation and laundry. It would be very helpful if the father could help with the daily chores as well as provide emotional support to the wife.
You can ask family members and friends for help for days – even weeks – after you bring your child home. But because of the appearance of others in the transition period, this can be uncomfortable, uncomfortable, or stressful. so you can ask them to cook for you, take the dog for a walk, or babysit the rest of the kids when they’re out of the house.
Factors that can affect parent-child bonding
Parent-child bonding can be delayed for a variety of reasons. Parents may have expected their child to have certain physical and personality traits in advance. So after the birth or after the adoption, you will have to adjust the image of the child in your mind because the baby’s face is the first tool for communication. It plays an important role in the bond between the child and the parent.
Hormones also greatly influence the bond between parents and children. Although the mother’s care of the baby in the early hours helps to develop bonding, various hormones also begin to be produced in the mother’s body. Sometimes a mother will have a hard time bonding with her baby if her hormone levels are too high or you have postpartum depression. Bonding can also be delayed if the mother is exhausted and in pain after a long, difficult labor.
If the child must be in the intensive care unit. You may be overwhelmed with the amount of complicated machinery around your child. However, bonding with children is still very important at this time. Your healthcare provider can show you how to carry your baby through the door of the incubator (a special type of crib). When the baby is ready, the healthcare provider will help you hold the baby. Meanwhile, you can watch, touch, and talk to your baby. Your baby will very quickly recognize and respond to your voice and touch.
The nurses will help you learn how to bathe and feed your baby. If you use expressed breast milk to feed your baby. Medical staff, including a lactation consultant can teach you how to breastfeed directly before taking your baby home. Some intensive care units also have private rooms where the mother and child can stay together and get to know each other before bringing the child home.
What if something goes wrong during mount creation?
If you don’t feel that you haven’t bonded with your child before you take your child to the doctor for the first time, discuss your concerns with your doctor. This could be a sign of postpartum depression. Or bonding may be delayed if the child has certain health problems. This may just be because you feel exhausted and tired by the new arrival of your baby.
In any case, the problem is detected as soon as possible. Healthcare professionals are used to dealing with these problems. And can help you better prepare to bond with your baby.
Also, sharing your feelings about bonding with your child with other new parents can help. Find out about classes for new parents.
Creating a bond is a complex and time-consuming personal experience. There is no universal formula and it cannot be forced to create cohesion. Children whose basic needs are met will not be affected. Although the initial bond with parents is not strong. As you become more comfortable with your child and more predictable in your role. Both you and your spouse will feel more confident to feel all the wonderful aspects that childcare has to offer.