Bonding with Baby During Pregnancy

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Bonding with Baby During Pregnancy

Your baby can hear you from around 16 weeks of pregnancy, possibly sooner. It is your voice they can hear the most clearly but anyone who speaks to them whilst they are inside your womb can also be heard. 

Bonding with your baby early on in pregnancy has incredibly positive effects on your baby’s development and well-being. Your family/support system can also begin to bond with baby too by talking or singing to baby frequently, but don’t worry if you are on your own your voice will be enough.

Benefits for Baby

  • Your baby will begin to recognise voices before they are even born, which will help them feel safe and secure in the early days after birth.
  • During early development your baby/babies will start to become familiar with certain sounds from your language. Research tells us that very early language development starts in the first trimester.

Ways to Start Bonding with Baby

You may feel a little silly to start with, and it may take a while before you establish a routine, but soon you will find that you are communicating with your baby without even realising it.

Here are some ways you might want to start building your relationship:

  • Talk to your baby, perhaps about your day or plans you have.
  • Sing to baby – your favourite songs or perhaps nursery rhymes. You don’t have to be good; your baby will love just to hear your voice.
  • Softly rub or massage your belly.
  • Respond to baby’s kicks by gently nudging or stroking the area.
  • Play calming music to your baby.

How can the partner/caregiver begin to bond with baby?

 Sometimes partners/caregivers find it challenging or a bit daunting to know how or where to begin with early bonding. The following are examples of great places to start:

  • Ask if you can gently touch and massage the baby bump.
  • Take opportunities to feel the baby kick.
  • Attend scan appointments.
  • Read, talk, or sing to baby so your voice becomes familiar to them.

Introducing Siblings to Baby

Preparing your child/children for the new baby and the changes ahead helps them begin to bond with baby before birth. For older children, preparing for their sibling can bring excitement and a sense of responsibility; however, for younger children it can be a time for confusion and uncertainty.

It may help to include your baby’s siblings in preparing for their arrival. The following suggestions may be useful as starting points, however, trust your instincts. You know your child/children best, so allow yourself to be guided by their responses.

  • Frequently talk to them about the new baby, and future occasions where the baby will be present.
  • Read stories to them about new babies, families, and pregnancy.
  • Invite them to feel the baby kicking and encourage them to speak or sing to baby.
  • Involve them in preparation for baby, such as sorting clothes, choosing names, or getting your home ready for when they arrive.

Bonding With your Baby

New babies have a strong need to be close to their parents, as this helps them to feel secure and loved. When babies feel secure, they release a hormone called oxytocin. This acts like a fertiliser for their growing brain, helping them to be happy babies and more confident children and adults. Holding, smiling and talking to your baby also releases oxytocin in you, which helps you to feel calm and happy.

1. In the begining

During pregnancy, your baby’s brain is growing very quickly. You can help this growth by taking some time out to relax and talk to them, to stroke your bump and maybe play some music. Encourage other close family members to do the same.

2. Meeting your baby

After your baby is born, hold them against your skin as soon as possible and for as long as you want. This will calm them and give you both the chance to rest, keep warm and get to know each other. If you want to breastfeed, this is a great time to start, as your baby might move towards the breast and work out the best way to suckle. Breastfeeding also releases lots of oxytocin in baby and mother, which will help you to feel close and connected. If you choose to bottle feed, giving the first feed in skin contact while holding your baby close and looking into their eyes will also help you bond.

3. Early days

Keep your baby close to you so that you start to recognise the signals they make to tell you they are hungry or want a cuddle. Responding to these signals will make your baby feel safe. Cuddling your baby next to your skin allows them to smell you and hear your heartbeat, which will comfort and calm them. Continuing skin-to-skin contact can calm and comfort you both at any time.

4.Finding your rhythm

Having a new baby can be challenging. However, as time goes by, you will start to understand what your baby needs. Responding to your baby’s needs for food and comfort, will not only support their brain development but will also help them feel secure. This will help them to cry less, which makes your life easier too. Holding your baby when they are crying helps them to feel loved and secure.


Babies become spoilt and demanding if they are given too much attention.

It’s important to get babies into a routine, as this makes your life easier.
You should leave babies to settle alone so that they learn to be independent
Babies benefit from lots of toys to help them learn.


When babies’ needs for love and comfort are met, they will be calmer and grow up to be more confident.
Young babies are not capable of learning a routine. Responding to their cues for feeding and comfort makes babies feel secure, so they cry less, which makes your life easier too
When babies are routinely left alone, they think they have been abandoned and so become more clingy and insecure when their parents return.
Looking at your face is the best way for babies to learn. Talking, listening and smiling triggers oxytocin and helps your baby’s brain to grow.
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