1. Newborns
  2. Connecting & communicating
  3. Bonding

Bonding with newborns and babies: in pictures

0-1 years

Bonding through cuddling, contact and facial expression

Cuddle baby close to the left side of your chest so he can hear your heartbeat. This is good for bonding with newborns, because it helps them feel safe.

Skin-on-skin contact, like baby massage, can help your baby feel secure. Always use a soothing touch.

Look into your baby’s eyes and use facial expressions when you speak to him. This will help your baby learn the connection between words and feelings.

Talking and reading: good for bonding

Babies like to hear a sing-song voice instead of normal grown-up conversation. Try this kind of voice when you’re talking to your baby.

Read books and tell stories with your baby from birth. She’ll like hearing your voice during this special time together.

Chat with your baby throughout the day. Try naming toys and things around you. For example, ‘Look, these are your socks. They go on your feet’.

Singing, smiling and games: more bonding ideas

Singing is a fun way to develop your baby’s language skills. Your baby will also love the rhythm and will be soothed by your voice.

Smile at your baby. When he sees you smiling, it makes him feel good and releases chemicals that help his brain grow.

Play simple games with your baby, like pat-a-cake or peekaboo. Playing with your baby also helps your baby’s learning and movement skills.

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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