Your baby may be cute and cuddly, but she’s also an entirely new person, one you’ll have to get to know. A true parent-child bond is a result of everyday caregiving. There’s no magic formula, but a few things can help the process along.

  • Have some skin-to-skin cuddle time – hold her and stroke her gently. Human touch is soothing for both you and your baby.
  • Look into your baby’s eyes and talk and sing to her regularly.
  • Rocking your baby to sleep or stroking her back can establish your new relationship and make her feel more comfortable.
  • If you’re planning a c-section, ask your practitioner about your options for a gentle c-section. This involves making a few small changes in the procedure — such as placing the baby right on your chest after delivery — to allow you and your partner to feel more a part of the birth.
  • If your baby has to spend some time in intensive care and is hooked up to wires and monitors, ask the hospital staff to help you safely touch and hold your baby.

Over time, you’ll get to know and enjoy your newborn, learn how to comfort him, and your feelings will deepen. And one day – maybe the first time you see him smile – you’ll look at your baby and realize you’re filled completely with love and joy.