Many people believe that bonding with your newly adopted baby should happen instantly and magically. But the reality is that bonding takes dedication and time.
The good news is that you can bond with your newly adopted baby, with intention. Here are 4 practical techniques to bond with your adopted child:
Baby-wearing keeps your baby close to you, allowing him or her to get used to your heartbeat, your scent, and the sound of your voice. Plus, it promotes eye contact. Finally, baby-wearing helps protect your baby from germs. His or her face is on your chest, and their hands are tucked away in the carrier. This makes it difficult for people to just reach out and touch your baby.
As you can see, baby-wearing comes with many benefits, and it’s also practical. You’re able to keep your baby close to you while doing chores around the house, working, cleaning, walking, or going on errands.
2. Adoptive Breastfeeding
Nursing is possible for adoptive moms, and it comes with many options like using a supplemental nursing system, inducing lactation, and comfort/dry nursing. Some adoptive parents choose bottle-nursing, where the baby is fed with a bottle while his or her cheek rests against a parent’s bare skin. Guide to Adoptive Breastfeeding explains the many options that new parents have with nursing their new addition.
3. A Leave of Absence
A great way to encourage bonding is to create time for it! If finances allow, consider taking a leave-of-absence from work. The time off will give you many more opportunities to practice skin-to-skin contact, as well as bathing and feeding. Parent and baby can always remain within close vicinity to one another.
Though taking a leave isn’t possible for everyone, it’s smart to consider your options before your baby arrives. Get to know your employer’s guidelines and mesh out your financial situation ahead of time.
4. Taking Breaks
You might be wondering what taking breaks has to do with bonding. As any experienced parent will tell you, there’s such a thing as being “touched out.” Being a parent to a newborn can lead to desperately needing a break: the sleepless nights, fussiness, diaper changes, and round-the-clock feedings can add up to exhaustion.
Too much touch can lead to frustration, anxiety, and irritability. Try going on errands alone, meeting a friend for coffee, or working out; it can make a world of difference. Then, you’ll be able to return to your baby feeling renewed and motivated to continue bonding. You might consider creating a schedule that gives each parent a few breaks.
Want even more techniques to bond with your adopted child? Check out: “Adoption Webinar: Bonding & Attachment After Adoption” and “5 Tips for Bonding With Your Baby.“
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”