A newborn will keep you on your toes. You will feel more tired than ever in your life and realize that this tiny human doesn’t care about your needs at all.
The truth is your newborn has neither the brain capacity to care what you want or think about your needs. All he or she wants is: be close to you, eat, sleep, and have a clean diaper. The good news is, despite what Aunt Betty told you, you can’t spoil a newborn.
I’m a lactation counselor and former doula, OB/GYN medical assistant, and Reiki practitioner. In my experience the following seven tips will help you create a bond with your newborn in 40 days or less.
- Touch your newborn. Newborns are used to being in a tight space. It is no surprise they like to be touched and held. It makes them feel safe. You don’t have to worry about spoiling your baby, as this tiny human’s brain capacity has no spoiled bone in their body — not one. The brain of a newborn has not developed reason, yet.
- Skin-to-skin. Dr. Nils Bergman developed this method of taking care of babies. He found out that babies breath better, keep their temperature, and are crying less. All you have to do is put your baby on your chest (yes, dad’s too) and watch this video if you want to know more: YouTube
- Talk (or sing) to your baby. If you don’t know what to say to a person who can’t respond yet, don’t worry, he or she will not judge. You could just talk about your day or favorite sports team. Maybe you can read the newspaper aloud. You may not be Adam Levine, but I’m sure you know a tune or two. Go for it.
- Mirror his or her behavior. This one is simple and doesn’t need an explanation, right?
- Check within a minute when your newborn is fussing. Babies don’t cry for no reason. You can start by going down a list to rule out what’s wrong: hungry, thirsty, diaper change, hot, cold, sad, lonely, or pain. That should narrow it down and help get you started.
- Be silly and eventually make your baby laugh. Babies love silliness. . . show your goofy side.
- Massage or gently rub your baby. A gentle rub down the legs, back, and arms will soothe any baby (also you get a two-in-one deal here with touching).
If you need more help than you anticipated or feel like you’re sad or lonely more often than usual, please talk to your health care provider, hire a postpartum doula, talk to a lactation counselor or other medical professional.