You probably spend endless (or all) hours of the day with your little one. If they're still a baby, you literally are always with them. This creates some powerful memories and real bonds.
Yet, it's nice to take a step back from the day's stress and excitement from time to time to really bond with your baby one-on-one. Even if you already feel close to them, taking some time each week or month to do something special will really stand out in your memory. Here are some easy things you can do during every stage to foster that bond between mama and baby.
Bonding doesn't just happen after birth! You can help yourself feel closer to your baby during every stage of pregnancy with these ideas.
- Pregnancy photos - Taking photos of your bump throughout your pregnancy is not only a great way to connect with your body but to also feel closer to your growing baby. It might help you feel a little less uncomfortable with your pregnancy symptoms.
- Talk to your baby - Just because your baby is in utero doesn't mean you can't take some moments to talk to them. Research shows that your baby can hear and recognize your voice. Talk to them about your day, how much you love them, and so on.
- Write to them - If you like journaling or writing your thoughts, why not write to your baby? Tell them what you wish for their future, or about how you can't wait to meet them. This makes a precious gift to share later in life.
- Connect with your body - Connect with your body through a relaxing bath or small moments of self-care. Whether you apply a nightly face mask or do relaxing activities, this is a great way to feel closer to your little one.
When your baby is 0 - 12 months old, you might not know how to express your love. Believe it or not, your baby shows you affection, and you can bond with them in very special ways.
- Take a bath - One of the best ways to bond is through a relaxing bath. We can't recommend our bonding bath with chamomile and lavender enough! It's safe for babies and mamas.
- Sing to your baby - Singing isn't just for the shower. Your baby loves your voice, so since them a tune from time to time—even if you don't know all the right words.
- Exercise together - Take your baby with you as you exercise. Whether you do yoga with your baby or just daily walks, these moments bring everyone together.
- Use smells - Babies connect with different smells, and they'll associate some with you. By using the same moisturizer daily, your baby will come to recognize that smell as uniquely yours.
When your baby is between 12 and 24 months, you have so many more precious ways to bond! Try these for yourself:
- Bath time - Take a relaxing soak together, and don't be afraid to have some fun too. A milk bath is perfect for playtime and relaxation.
- Go for walks - Toddlers love to explore the world around them. Going for a regular walk around your block to see what you discover together!
- Bedtime routine - Little ones thrive when they have a regular routine, so commit to a bedtime routine that you both love. Whether you read a story, tuck them in, or give them a bedtime kiss, these moments are worth the world.
- Learn their language - Toddlers sometimes seem to have a language of their own. Picking up on their words and phrases helps you communicate clearly even when the rest of the world doesn't know what they're saying.
At the preschool age (2 - 4 years), there are so many fun things you can do with your little one. They finally are ready for "bigger kid" activities, so this is a whole world of possibilities.
- Bake together - Who doesn't love baking? Since your preschooler gets to get their hands a bit dirty, it's sure to be their favorite activity. Make cookies, a cake, or any other fun sweet.
- Play a sport - Your little one might not be ready for baseball or basketball, but odds are you can adapt sports to suit their level of intensity. It's time to play ball!
- Play make-believe games - Younger kids are at the perfect age for imaginative play. Join them in a fun game of make-believe.
- Read books - Little kids love reading. Even if they can't understand the words themselves, looking at the pictures and hearing your voice is more than enough for their adventurous minds.
Make Valuable Connections
These connections you form early in your child's life aren't just important now. They're building a vital foundation for the future. You'll miss these days when they're gone, so take the time to bond with your baby with these ideas above.
There's always something you can do to feel closer to them. Don't worry about spoiling your baby with too much affection! That's not possible. As long as you're being with them in each moment, you're an awesome mama!