Welcoming a new baby to the family is a profound experience that changes your life in many ways. As a parent, not only does your identity transform, but your entire world shifts, too.
Many new parents seek ways to include their newborn in family life seamlessly. While numerous things will evolve, some aspects will remain constant. The key is gently and purposefully embracing your baby as a precious part of your family’s journey.
If you are a new parent and you are struggling with including your newborn in your daily family life, then here are 5 tips to help you connect with your baby better.
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Conversing with your baby
Talking to your baby is an important way to help them grow. Conversing with your little one helps them significantly with bonding and cognitive development. Active communication also:
- Promotes communication and language development.
- Supports social and emotional development.
Throughout the day you will have many opportunities to talk to your baby. Some easy topics for conversation include:
- Narrating your day to them
- Explaining what you are doing and what you are seeing to your baby
- Describing objects and things around you
- Reciting nursery rhymes to them
- Reading books to your baby
These are only some examples of conversation and all of them will help with their communication skills. Pay attention to whether your baby seems tired or looks away when you speak to them. It may be an indication that they need some space to rest.
Eat together as a family
Mealtimes are a great opportunity for the whole family to connect and bond. Even though you cannot share food with your baby at the table yet, mealtimes are ideal occasions to include your baby in your family life.
Always keep in mind that infants are very observant. According to some studies, eating meals together as a family has a positive impact on the overall well being of your child from a young age. Remember that,
- Mealtimes are the easiest way to enjoy quality family bonding time.
- They improve a child’s eating habits and social development.
- Give your baby a place at the table (a bouncy seat on the floor or an infant-appropriate high chair).
- Have regular conversations with other members of your family as it offers your baby stimulation and entertainment while continuing to improve their language understanding.
Go on walks together
Going for a walk with the whole family is a great way to keep the family active and connected. Moreover,
- Babies need fresh air and light.
- Going for a walk outdoors is stimulating and fun.
- It is an opportunity for new learning.
- Walking helps your child’s emotional well-being.
- It improves sleep.
So, add family walks to your regular routine. Taking your baby out for walks each day allows them to see and hear things they cannot experience within your home.
Family walks also keep you active and present opportunities to learn about nature. Take the opportunity to point out birds, flowers, airplanes, and trees to your infant, as they take everything in for the first time.
Don’t miss bedtime routines
Bedtime routines serve as a great opportunity for bonding with your baby.
From the very first day, your baby will benefit greatly from listening to stories and songs. Start a routine of reading books together as a family before bed or looking through a photo album of loved ones.
Since bedtime certainly changes for just about every family member when you welcome a newborn, try to use that change to add meaningful practices to your routine. This will help you connect better as a family and also aid your baby with feeling more secure.
Include your baby into daily chores
One way of igniting your child’s curiosity is by nurturing it. Children are naturally very observant and curious about everything. Engaging your baby in everyday chores is an excellent method to fuel their curiosity, nurture their interests, and promote their development.
So, the burning question is: How can I do that?
Including your baby while carrying out household chores can mean anything from giving them an object to hold as you perform the whole task to seating them close by and talking to them. Narrating what you do and encouraging their participation makes them feel capable. The feeling of working together is priceless for a baby.
Here are some suggestions for you to bond with your baby even while doing household chores.
- Offer your baby safe kitchen tools to explore while you prepare dinner. Pots, pans, and spoons make fantastic playthings.
- Encourage your baby to hold a small watering can (you might need to guide their hands) and water the plants as a team.
- As you fold the laundry, pass your baby a sock to explore. Name various pieces of clothing.
- Demonstrate how to clean the floor with a damp washcloth, then, with your guidance, let your baby have a turn.
References: babycenter.com, verywellfamily.com, parents.com, babycentre.co.uk