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Your bond with baby

Sometimes partners or other family members want to bottle feed as a way to help them bond with baby.

It is true that breastfeeding can support the bond between mother and baby. This is because breastfeeding meets babies’ needs for comfort, warmth, and security, as well as nutrition. The act of breastfeeding also releases hormones which encourage feelings of love and attachment in the mother.

There are lots of other ways to build a bond with your new baby, whether your child or grandchild, and you don’t have to provide them with milk to do this.

Have lots of cuddles


Don’t worry about ‘spoiling’ baby with cuddles. Allow them to sleep or rest on your chest when they are not feeding, or sit them on your lap when they are awake. Just be careful not to fall asleep yourself, or allow the baby to overheat, as this puts them at risk.


Carry baby in a sling


Holding baby in a sling gives them the comfort of your warmth and movement. It can be an effective way to help soothe baby in between breastfeeds if mum needs a break. Make sure you know how to use the sling, and follow the TICKS checklist 

Have skin to skin contact


Dads or parenting partners might wish to have a skin to skin cuddle with baby when they are new born or in the early weeks. This means holding them on your bare chest. Baby might just be in a nappy. You can cover them with a blanket (careful not to cover their face) to keep warm.


Give baby their bath


Bath time can be an excellent time for you and baby to bond. Babies often find comfort in the warm water, and an excellent opportunity to have eye contact and talk to your baby. Give them lots of smiles and gentle tickles. You might find baby learns that bath time means fun time!