Bonding with your baby

“Everybody’s got a hungry heart” (Bruce Springstein)

A Guide to Bonding with your baby by Sarah Weller of The Weller Way

Mother's hand holding baby with baby feet showing

There is culturally an assumption that all Mothers will naturally bond with their baby, but your baby also, is naturally hardwired to seek strong attachment from you too. Babies naturally seek security and we want to provide it. Babies are born ready to love and to be loved. As a parent it is our goal to love our children but also to install in them an intrinsic knowledge that they are lovable, which is the foundation of self esteem..

But despite a strong intention to bond, often particularly as new parents, we can fret about it, especially if we are prone to anxious thoughts. Being a parent is no doubt the hardest job on the planet , but one that brings such joy and fulfilment. The job doesn’t come with a training manual, but attachment theory and a Positive Parenting approach encourages us to view our children as our instruction manual, as from the moment they are born, they are able to best tell us what they need. Above all they need to be cherished. There is a lovely quote I found recently written by an American psychologist….”we think of cherishment as the emotional equivalent of nourishment. Soul Food”.

So what are the foundations of baby bonding? They are simply created through the day to day, moment by moment response to our baby’s needs, which they communicate to us by crying. Traditional parenting advice has included the idea that babies should be left to cry it out, once their physical needs are met, but all the latest research, including brain imaging concludes that leaving a baby to cry and prolonging it’s emotional distress contributes negatively to the brain, by the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Responding to your baby crying is not allowing them to manipulate you, you cannot spoil a child with hugs or connection. In fact the more hugs, the more the brain develops and the more they feel cherished.

Research has evidenced that disruption in attachment is created when there is no response to a baby’s cry.

We respond to our baby’s needs by responding across all the senses with our voice and touch, through our smell by holding them, through feeding and talking, by mimicking their sounds. But one of the most powerful and lovely ways with newborns is through touch. As well as having your baby in a sling on your chest, Baby Massage and Baby reflexology have huge benefits to the bonding process for both Mum and baby.

Attachment theory is the foundation of the Circle of Security Positive Parenting philosophy that I share through my Parenting Coaching Practice. Sccure attachment is built through a relationship that creates confidence in the availability of a specific protective caregiver whilst at the same time, that caregiver is able to support their child’s exploration when it is safe to do so. It is this premise that helps children thrive and is the building block for the growth to independence. Our children are dependent on us so that we can guide them, through a relationship of trust to withstand the challenges they will face as they get older.

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The Wellerway is a Family Relationship Coaching practice, run by Sarah Weller, a qualified and experienced Parenting education trainer , Coach and NLP Licenced Practitioner based in Tunbridge Wells. Sarah can help you feel more relaxed, confident and joyful in your Parenting journey helping you navigate the demands and complexities of raising a family. Discover how to raise happy, resilient and respectful children through bespoke Positive Parenting coaching.

Sarah has many years of supporting young people and families through working in the Mental Health and Homelessness sectors, and is a Mother of 4 children now in their twenties. She is passionate about Mental Wellbeing for the whole family and is an experienced Licenced Trainer for MIND Fitness and a Mental Health Youth First Aider.

http://thewellerway.co.uk

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