Babies crave connection. Apart from drinking milk and sleeping, their favorite thing to do is bond with their moms, dads, and anyone else available for snuggles and goochie-goos.
Infants spend their first few months soaking everything in, interpreting their surroundings, and trying to make meaning of the world. This might sound too profound for a human who was almost literally born yesterday, but bear with us. Your bond gives a sense of security and belonging that helps them grow.
In the simplest sense, this connection is one of the first things your baby will learn, and it’s crucial for their mental and social development. So, other than feeding and cuddle sessions, what can you do to optimize your family bond? We’ve outlined a few ideas below.
Skin-to-skin contact basically means holding your naked infant (or almost naked with a diaper and maybe a hat) on your bare chest. You don’t have to be shirtless — button-downs, cardigan sweaters, and loose shirts work great. Your baby can be covered by your shirt and a blanket if needed. Dads can do it too, and — bonus! — it even counts as tummy time.
Aside from bonding, research has shown that skin-to-skin touch can support milk production for breastfeeding mothers. Also, infants tend to sleep better, cry less, and stay warmer. Some studies suggest this direct physical touch can boost brain development as well.
Talk it out
Even though newborns don’t speak their parents’ language yet, they can still pick up on quite a lot and even respond to the sound of your voice. Talking with your little one is essential for their language development, and it can also enhance your connection. It might feel kind of goofy, but it’s actually beneficial (and totally normal) to have conversations with your newborn.
Ask them questions, respond to their goo-goos and ga-gas, explain what you’re doing throughout the day, and introduce them to various facial expressions. Whether you narrate your life out loud, sing songs, read books, or just chat about your day, being vocal is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Encourage your partner and any siblings to do the same.
When families eat together, it can promote togetherness, communication, good food choices, and healthy routines. And while you might think your little one won’t be able to join you at the dinner table until they’re sitting up (or later), it doesn’t have to be this way. With the Tripp Trapp® chair from Stokke®, your baby can be right there with you from day one, interacting at eye level for a more intimate connection.
The adjustable Tripp Trapp® grows with your child, allowing them to participate in family mealtime from the newborn stage through childhood — it even works as an extra seat for adults. The Newborn Set accessory is designed to encourage family bonding from the get-go. It attaches securely to the chair and cradles your infant in a nest-like ergonomic lounger, right at table height. And with the Tripp Trapp® Baby Set, which comes with a backrest, rail, and extended gliders, littles can practice their sitting skills and take part in mealtime as they graduate to solid foods.
Though it might be tempting, you can’t hold your baby all day long. But keeping your little one close by can help them stay calm and feel included as you tend to other things. In those first few months, it’s sometimes hard to know exactly where to set your baby down. You want them to be safe and comfy with a clear view of mama — and that’s where the Tripp Trapp® comes in.
Outside of mealtimes, this chair is super useful. The Tripp Trapp® Newborn Set and Baby Set have five-point safety harnesses and indicators showing whether they’re mounted correctly. Plus, the Newborn Set’s toy hanger helps keep your infant entertained while stimulating their motor skills. With your hands free, you can continue to interact through eye contact, facial expressions, and chit-chat.
Closeness and human contact are some of your baby’s most essential needs, and Stokke® is committed to helping you meet them. The Tripp Trapp® chair comes in three different configurations and several colors with ten add-on accessories for optimizing your connection and nurturing development at every stage.
To boost your family bond, consider a Tripp Trapp® chair.
This ad is brought to you by Stokke
- “Skin-to-Skin Contact for Mother & Baby.” Cleveland Clinic, 1 Jan. 2018, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15276-skin-to-skin-contact-for-you–baby.
- Brotherson, Sean. “North Dakota State University.” The Big Benefits of Family Meals – Eat Smart. Play Hard. Together., www.ag.ndsu.edu/food/health-and-nutrition/eatsmart/eat-smart.-play-hard.-magazines-1/2009-eat-smart-play-hard-magazine/test-item.