How to Bond with a Baby when Adopting?

NICU+mom+holding+baby+feet+heart+shapeHave you ever wondered if you would love an adopted child as much as a biological child?  It’s not something I like to admit, but there was that worry.  What would the baby think of me?  She didn’t have time to bond  in her womb with me.  She never heard my voice and had nothing familiar at all.  Everyone always talks about a mother and child bond that is pretty unbreakable.  This was what I worried about.  How does me, the stranger, bond with a new unknown baby?

From my personal experience a bond isn’t necessarily biological, but very much mental.  It’s not always instant, but something that you work on.  For me,  a bond happens through experiences over time. 

How can I bond?

  • Use skin-to-skin therapy.  Also known as kangaroo care.  We used kangaroo care when our son was born prematurely.  Preemies don’t get to develop like most infants and they need that extra time.  
  • Create rituals like baby massage or singing.  I sang a lot to our little ones.  Singing helps me personally relieve any stress, so it worked for the both of us.  I felt that we bonded a lot through this process.  I used to sing the song “Mean” by Taylor Swift.  B just loved the music to that one.
  • Restrict visitors.  It can be very overwhelming for a newborn, let alone a newborn that is hearing so many different voices in a completely new environment.  An adopted child has so much “change” at once, and really needs things to be simple and as comfortable as possible.
  • Some say that co-sleeping will help with attaching.  I actually put a bed in both of our children’s rooms so that they could get used to their surroundings.  It was easier to get up through the night and console them when they needed it.  
  • Offer a lot of personal face time!  Babies are naturally interested in faces.  They love to touch and feel your face and see your reactions. This close interaction helps keep things personal, so that bonding can happen.
  • Take a family trip!  Having family time is always a way to bond.  It’s not just one person, but a family experience for all to interact.
  • Take care of yourself and keep positive 🙂

Bonding is something that you need to work on whether it’s an adopted or biological child.  If you are a parent that’s going to just let their kids watch t.v. all day, and you don’t take the time to create “family time”, you will not have a strong bond.  Carve out some time, have routines of eating dinner at the table, or board game Sundays.  These types of interactions will create memories for a life time and create that forever bond. 

 

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