Office of Child Welfare
A Word About Bonding Safely
Without trust, there cannot be successful bonding. Babies need to trust that their parents will consistently meet their needs and keep them safe from harm. Some parents believe that sharing a bed with their babies, sometimes called co-sleeping, is the best way to bond with and protect their babies. Research has shown that sleeping with babies is dangerous.
Consider these facts before you decide where your baby will sleep:
- Suffocation and strangulation in an adult bed is the leading cause of accidental infant death in the state of Florida; and
- The risk of sleeping-related infant death is 40 times higher for babies who sleep in adult beds compared to babies who sleep in their own cribs.
There a plenty of great ways safely bond with your baby. Try some of these ideas with your little one.
A parent’s loving touch comforts a baby and makes them feel loved and safe.
Give your baby a gentle massage. It is a great bonding experience and also relaxes your baby and promotes good sleep habits.
Cradle your baby and gently stroke him or her in different patterns.
Skin to skin contact is also very soothing for your baby. Try resting your baby on your chest while you watch television or talk with friends.
Eyes can be a window to the soul, especially for someone who can’t talk yet! Making eye contact with your baby is a great way for the two of you to connect.
Your voice is one of your baby’s favorite sounds. Talk to your baby and respond to noises your baby makes. Tell your baby about your day. Read or sing to your baby every day. This will help your baby connect with you and learn important language skills at the same time.
Babies like you to acknowledge their efforts. Try mirroring your baby’s movements or mimicking your baby’s cooing.
Playing simple games like peek-a-boo or little piggy provides your baby with needed brain stimulation and deepens your bond.