Getting to know your baby can start even before baby is born.
Mum, dad, brothers and sisters can stroke, talk and sing to baby through mum’s ‘bump’, helping to develop their relationship with baby before he or she arrives.
After birth, there are many ways to develop this relationship further, including gazing into babies eyes, responding to their ‘babbling’, mirroring their facial expressions as well as smiling and talking to baby.
Holding and cuddling baby is important too – babies cannot be ‘spoilt’, and responding early to their needs enables babies to feel secure and calm.
There is a mounting body of research that tells us that these interactions between baby and their family are important for baby’s mental, emotional and social development.
Also, you and your baby will love it too, and go on to enjoy a closer bond.
Visit the Getting to Know Your Baby website to find out more.
The Baby Friendly Initiative have also produced guidance on building a loving relationship with your new baby, to give babies the best possible start in life and help them to grow up happy and confident.
Their “Building a Happy Baby” leaflet, advice and information on getting to know your baby and setting up the foundations for that strong relationship.
Unicef have produced a book entitled “Baby, I Love You” to help build loving and nurturing relationships between new parents and their baby, encouraging skin contact, holding, stroking, playing and singing.
Click here to view Unicef Ambassador Ewan McGregor reading the book.