We all have that perfect family image in our minds. The one where we are sitting on the sofa with a perfect child nuzzled between us. It’s the dream that keeps intended parents up at night and gives them the fire to keep going.
But, what if that child isn’t 100% genetically related to both parents? Our clients will often bring up concerns about whether or not they will bond with a baby that is not their biological child.
While we understand the matter, we are here to tell you there is nothing to fear. All a baby needs is someone to love them and keep them safe. To ease any fears, here are some suggestions for intended parents to bond with their baby.
Tips for Intended Parents
Skin to Skin
We all know that skin to skin is essential right after the baby is born, but did you know that it is still relevant even after it comes home? Spend time doing skin to skin for a few months.
Hold the baby close to your chest when bottle feeding. Babies tend to bond while they eat. Show them love and affection as you feed them by touching them cheek to cheek and snuggling them close.
Take turns soothing the baby. When a baby cries, they are looking for someone to comfort them. As fathers, take turns rocking and bouncing the baby. This way, she will learn to take comfort from both fathers.
Smile and talk to the baby. Babies love soft, soothing voices. As infants, have conversations with the baby by looking them in the eyes and telling them how loved they are.
Baby carriers are a great way to bond with your baby. They will allow the child to feel safe while they learn to recognize your smell and traits.
Play, Play, Play
Set aside special playtime. As the baby gets older, set aside one on one time for the baby. Infants love playing peek-a-boo or singing songs. Toddlers love playing with blocks and reading books. Find age-appropriate activities to do as the baby grows.
One way to be available to your child is to attend doctor appointments. Doctor appointments can be frightening for young children. When you are willing to go with them, it shows that you care about their well being and want to comfort them when they need it. They will learn that when they are scared or unsure of something, they can come to you.
You will come to find that children love having a routine. This helps them relax, and they learn how to get ready for sleep. An example of a routine would be bath, bottle, story, then bed. Once your routine is set, try to stick to it.
Tips for Mothers
One concern intended mothers have is the fear that they won’t bond with a baby that isn’t genetically connected to them.
Here is the advice we give:
Carrying the Baby
If the mother can carry the baby, she will connect with the baby during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a special time where the mother nourishes and protects then’t life growing inside her. She will have nine months to bond with the baby — no matter where the egg came from.
All pregnant women will have to deal with hormones. Some women don’t notice any difference, while others will have mood swings and bouts of depression. We want all mothers to know that this is normal, and there is help.
If you feel detached from your baby, or have thoughts of self-harm or harming others, please seek help from your medical provider as soon as possible.
Postpartum is nothing to be ashamed of, and the sooner a mother gets help, the sooner she can begin to bond with her baby.
Give It Time
The most important thing all intended parents need to remember is to give it time. All parents, no matter how their baby was conceived, go through a period of adjustment. Adding a baby to a family is a big chance, and it takes time to get used to a new routine.
Be patient with the baby, be patient with your spouse, and be patient with yourself. It’s a big learning curve for everyone involved. There will be periods of exhaustion, periods of doubt. Still, above all, there will be periods of unadulterated happiness as you enjoy being with the new family that you’ve had to work so hard fo.
Let Us Help
If you’re ready to start bonding with your baby, contact us today! We will help you find the perfect donor for your family.