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mother bonding with baby

A Healthy Start: Bonding With Your Adopted Baby

Created: 07/05/2012
Last Updated: 01/31/2017

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If you're worried that your adopted son or daughter may have a tough time feeling like part of the family when he or she gets older, you can take comfort in knowing that bonding with them now can do a lot to secure a healthy, close relationship. Even though they may not understand what you say, babies take in much just by the feel of your skin, the sound of your voice and the eye contact you make with them.

Don't be concerned if bonding feels a little unnatural at first. Once you begin the process, your connection will grow stronger. Holding, cuddling and talking to your baby will become second nature, and you'll look forward to the time together.

Babies have a natural response to skin-to-skin contact. This tactile sensation is not only an important component of mother-child bonding, but of your son's or daughter's bonding with your partner as well.

Additionally, infants are very visual, so making eye contact with them is something they can take in at a very young age to help them recognize you as a trusted and loving parent. You may find that your baby begins to mimic your facial expressions, which can be humorous and moving at the same time. Moreover, expressions and mannerisms are common shared family traits, whether you're blood-related or not.

Don't underestimate how much your child loves listening to you and others. Not only is this an essential part of your child developing communication skills, but he or she will come to associate the sound of your voice with comfort.

Talking to your child about adoption may help them get used to the term and make answering questions easier later on. Even as babies, telling them about their cultural or familial history may help them get an idea of who they are, while at the same time building trust in you as a parent.

Allow other friends and family members to hold your new child as well. Introducing your child to all of the people who are important in your life may help the child get used to these faces that they may be seeing a lot of later on.