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Health After Pregnancy

Woman Bonding with Baby

Bringing Baby Home

Bonding with Baby

Key Points

  • Getting to know your baby is important for building your relationship
  • Attachment is the 2-way relationship between parent and baby.
  • Responding to your baby will make him feel safe and secure.
  • Cuddling, talking and smiling at your baby will help build his brain.

You'll be spending time with and caring for your baby right from the moment he's born. This time you spend together will help you build a relationship that will last throughout your lives.

Getting to know your baby

Getting to know your baby is an important part of building your relationship and developing your attachment to him.

You and your partner can get to know your newborn by:

  • Holding him "skin-to-skin" (holding him bare against your bare skin) when you're feeding or cradling him.
  • Looking into his eyes.
  • Singing or talking to him.
  • Cuddling him.
  • Responding to his cues, signals and cries.

Doing all these things will show your baby that you're there to love and care for him and that he can trust you.

Attachment: your 2-way relationship

Attachment continues to build into childhood and beyond.

Man Holding Baby

Attachment is the 2-way physical and emotional connection parents develop with their babies.

Building the attachment

You'll build your attachment each time you give your baby your attention by:

  • Making sure he's safe.
  • Checking if he's hungry.
  • Checking that his diaper isn't wet or soiled.
  • Picking him up or cuddling him.

Don't worry if you don't feel an immediate connection to you baby. It can take time for attachment to build.

Over time, by meeting his needs and responding to him when he cries, you'll make him feel safe and secure. You'll build your attachment by showing him that he can trust and depend on you.

Bonding when baby isn't home

You are the most important person in your baby's life. Your baby needs to form an attachment to you first.

But if, for medical reasons, you can't be with your baby for the first few days or weeks, that's okay.

You can still build a strong and secure attachment with your baby. Ask your nurse or doctor how much time you can spend at the hospital and when you'll be able to hold your baby. Developing this attachment as soon as you can will help your baby build strong future relationships with family and friends.

Watching baby develop and grow

Couple with Baby

Over the first few days and weeks, you'll start seeing your baby do different things, like watching your smile or making sounds.

While all babies grow and develop at different rates, there are some common things that they'll start to do at certain ages and stages.

For example, at 1 month, you'll notice that your baby:

  • Stares at colourful objects.
  • Watches your face when you smile.
  • Responds when you comfort and soothe him.
  • Cries to tell you he's hungry or uncomfortable.
  • Loves being talked to and reacts by waving his arms and legs.

By cuddling, talking, and smiling at your baby you'll help build his brain. Brain cells need to be connected to work. Keep cuddling, smiling and talking to your baby to help his brain build stronger connections.

Related links:

Speak with a Peel Public Health Nurse
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216

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Revised: Thursday September 05 2019

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