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Bonding with your baby as a non-genetic parent

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Bonding with your baby as a non-genetic parent

“Does she like me?” Meeting your new baby can be far more nerve-wracking than any blind date - especially since your baby isn’t great at talking about her feelings yet. New parents who aren’t genetically related to their new babies can feel even more nervous about making sure to properly bond with the newest member of the family. But you and your baby have plenty of time to bond - these first few weeks are just the first steps in a process that will continue on through the rest of your lives as a family.

The ideas in this article specifically address families where one parent is genetically related to their new child and the other is not, but the process of bonding with a baby who isn’t genetically related to either parent follows the same steps of care and building trust, so parents who have adopted may find the second set of tips helpful as well.

Setting the stage

All you really need to bond with your baby is, well, you and her, but there are a few things you can do to set the scene, so that you know you’re making it a little easier for the two of you to get acquainted.

When your baby is in your arms

In terms of practical bonding tips, your baby isn’t much of a talker yet, so you’ll have to mostly rely on body language, but spending some time skin-to-skin so she gets to smell your skin and feel your heartbeat is a great place to start. And making sure that you get the chance to feed her regularly, if possible, will also give your baby a head-start on forming meaningful positive associations with you. Eye contact can speed up bonding, too, as can talking and singing to her, which will help familiarize her with your voice - until eventually she is even soothed by it - and also stimulate her brain.


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