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Getting to know your baby

Getting to know your baby


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.

These two videos from Best Beginningsshows a lovely interaction between a father and his baby and a new mother explaining she's learned that babies cry to communicate, helping her to feel less stressed when her baby cries.

For more information about infant crying and how to cope, visit our 'Looking after you and your baby' webpage.

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.

The Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative's "Meeting baby for the first time" video covers why skin to skin is so important after birth, to help mother and baby recover from the birth and begin to get to know each other, developing their relationship and creating a really special time for them both.

As you gradually get to know your baby and develop your relationship with them, you’ll find it’s easier to follow your instincts and parent your baby ‘responsively’ - responding to your baby’s unique cues to meet all of their individual needs, providing them with all the love, comfort and reassurance they need – explained by Dr. Amy Brown’s animated video on ‘responsive parenting’.

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