The relationship you create with your little one stems from a simple, innate bond, and believe it or not, that bond begins before your baby even arrives. The science regarding the links between a mother’s health and happiness and her baby’s is well-established.
8 ways to impact your baby while in utero
Knowing this, there are many actions you can take to foster positive interaction with your precious one. Below are some ways that you can influence your baby from conception and establish the bond that will develop for the rest of your lives!
1. Respond to Baby
If you are already into your second trimester, then you have probably felt your baby kicking or moving around. The movement can be strange, mysterious, reassuring or just plain amusing. Don’t hesitate to offer a response! You may be surprised to find baby responding back. The next time they move around, try a gentle pat or rub and see what happens. You may find yourself immersed in a fun little game with a child you have yet to meet.
2. Talk or Read to Baby
You might feel silly talking to your bump, but you shouldn’t! Doctors have long known that babies can hear sound while in the womb, but there is mounting evidence that as soon as 10 weeks before birth, they also begin to learn language. Because the mother’s body amplifies sound, the baby can recognize its mother’s voice and even identify her native language from foreign ones. It will obviously still take time after birth for baby to begin associating meaning with the sounds, but they can categorize sounds on a basic level and recognize their mother’s voice.
3. Take a Bath
Bath-time is a great time to relax and be alone, but it can also be a great time to bond with your baby. Baby is more likely to be relaxed when you are. And without the rush and frenetic energy of the world to distract you, you can focus solely on peaceful time with your baby. Try visualizing your baby, not only as they sit in your womb, but also when you are finally able to hold them in your arms. One caveat: make sure the water is not too hot. Excess heat can be bad for your baby.
4. Listen to or Play Music
Whether you are singing to your baby or just enjoying some music, your baby can hear it too. See if your baby responds differently to various types of music. If you play something you particularly like, there is a good chance your baby will respond to your emotional state. Not only can they hear the music, but they can feel the movement if you are dancing or singing as your diaphragm contracts and expands.
Not all types of exercise are appropriate when you are pregnant, but swimming and yoga are two excellent ways to keep fit. Swimming takes the weight off of your joints and might interestingly enable you to identify with your baby as they are floating along in similar state. Additionally, yoga is a low-impact exercise (and stress-reliever!) and you might even be able to find a yoga class created especially for expectant mothers. Even simply taking a walk while pregnant is an excellent opportunity to bond.
6. Keep an Image
You may not be able to take out your camera and snap endless photos of your adorable new baby yet, but keeping a copy of the sonogram is the next best thing. It is tangible evidence of this mysterious new person who will soon be coming to stay. If you are fortunate enough to be able to get a 3D or 4D ultrasound, this keepsake can be incredibly special and help make your little one feel even more “real.”
7. Massage Your Bump
While there is no evidence that rubbing moisturizer or lotion onto your belly will help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, it can certainly be an opportunity to bond with your baby. Your baby may feel the gentle pressure and, as noted earlier, respond.
8. Get Dad and Siblings Involved
Whether your family is just beginning or is ever-expanding, you are a team! Get dad in on the action by letting him read or talk to the baby. He can sing to baby, rub your belly or place his hand on your belly to feel the baby move. Remember, it is his baby too, and he is likely just as excited as you. Helping him to bond with the baby may also be a way for the two of you to bond as well. If you have other little ones, let them read to their new sibling. There are endless opportunities for bonding with baby and influencing their development before they blossom into our world!
There is no one way to bond with your child
Beginning a relationship with your child now can help to establish a bond before the two of you ever meet formally. That bond can set the stage for the rest of your lives together! How exciting!
McKenzie Brower is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Newton Baby. She writes for a variety of mom and baby blogs and is especially interested in ensuring new mothers feel prepared and confident welcoming their newest little ones into the family.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.