The decision to adopt a baby is a big one! It can be one of the most exciting times for a family, but like any big decision, there will be some worry. Remember this is natural- don’t fret it. Some parents worry about the bonding process, and if the baby will ever truly feel like “theirs.” The journey for each adoptive family is a unique one, and there is no “right” way it should happen. Go with the flow, and enjoy each moment for what it is. With that being said, here are a few tips and tricks for encouraging bonding with a brand new little one!
First things first, don’t try and rush it. You’ll just end up feeling frustrated. All babies have their own unique personalities and temperaments, and some are just naturally more fussy than others. Just keep pushing forward.
Cuddling and physical affection have been shown to encourage bonding between baby and parents. The more physical affection the baby receives, the faster their trust will build, and begin considering you a safe place.
Co-sleeping is another parenting method that forms long-lasting bonds in families. Co-sleeping a method where the baby sleeps in the same room as you, whether it be in a crib or if they’re old enough, in the bed with you. Of course, always make sure they’re safe- they make special pillows for co-sleeping that are great investments for those interested in this method. Co-sleeping makes it easy for parents to console a crying baby quickly, and give them reassurance in the middle of the night, promoting the feeling of safety and support. This can also help reinforce the parenting instincts that come along with biological children.
Skin to skin contact is another thing- also called Kangaroo Care. Baby-wearing slings are great for this as it allows you to receive this contact with your baby even while you’re doing other things. Allowing your baby to lay on your chest before or bed, or while you’re relaxing is also a good idea.
Overall- simply relax. Enjoying your time with your baby and taking each day as it comes is going to induce bonding over time- and you’ll look back on those days as a fond memory in no time.