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Bonding with your baby: ideas

0-1 years

Cuddling and connecting

Try cuddling your baby close to the left side of your chest so she can hear your heartbeat. Your baby might find this reassuring, and it’s good for bonding with newborns.

Skin-on-skin contact, such as baby massage, can make your baby feel secure. Try using a few drops of an edible oil, such as olive or sweet almond oil.

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

Experts say 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 enjoy storytelling with your baby from birth. She’ll like hearing the sound and rhythm of your voice during this special time together.

Chat with your baby as you go through the day. You could try naming toys and things around you. For example, ‘Look, these are your socks. We’re going to put them on your feet, aren’t we?’

Singing and games

Singing is a fun way to develop your baby’s language skills. Try it in the car, in the bath, at bedtime – anytime and anywhere! Your baby will love the rhythm and will be soothed by your voice.

Smile at your baby. When he sees you smiling, it releases chemicals in his body, making him feel good. The chemicals will also help his brain grow.

Play simple games with your baby, such as pat-a-cake or peekaboo. Playing these games can help your baby’s learning and movement skills.

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Last updated or reviewed
12-08-2011

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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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