All parents hope to build a strong loving relationship with their baby and all babies need a strong loving relationship with their parents.
Parents and babies use touch, movement, sound and feelings to make this special relationship strong. This is called bonding. It’s like glue and holds the relationship together. Building a strong bond between you and your baby is important to your baby’s future. A strong bond is a healthy start for your baby to grow, develop and build relationships with other people.
You can start communicating with your baby before birth. In the last three months of pregnancy your baby is developing their senses (hearing and vision). They are also beginning to develop their language and thinking abilities, so talk and sing and read to your baby while they are in the womb.
Babies can communicate with you as soon as they are born. At first your baby’s communication signs are quick and hard to spot. Sometimes, it will be a look, a sudden stillness or some other little movement. As your baby grows, you may see and hear them:
looking at you for a few seconds
smiling, cooing, holding out their arms and crying
learning by looking around but then checking back with you
Looking and listening for these signs will help you tune in to your baby’s communication.
You can make your special bond strong by:
Remember, sometimes your baby will be tired and won’t feel like talking—they will wriggle, look away or cry. Look for these signals.
Babies use crying to tell us lots of different things like: I’m tired, I need a nappy change, I’m hungry, I’m lonely and need a cuddle.
Remember, you are the most important person in your baby’s life and babies and parents need to learn about each other to build a strong relationship.
Source: With permission from West Moreton Child and Family Health Services. Queensland Health. Queensland Government. Undated.
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