A mother gently carrying and kissing her baby.

Bonding with Your Baby During Pregnancy

When you build a strong bond with your baby throughout your pregnancy, those feelings of comfort and safety carry on after birth. A child that feels safe can focus on their development and exploration.

Without a strong bond and sense of safety, a child will instinctually use their energy to focus on survival, trying to find ways to feel safe. Building a strong bond during pregnancy can jumpstart your baby’s development because they already feel like one of their most basic needs is taken care of. Keep reading to learn more about prenatal bonding activities below.

Talking and Singing to Your Baby

While it may seem silly, talking and singing to your unborn child can help you develop a bond. Around the 18-week mark, your baby’s ears have grown enough to hear small sounds, such as your heartbeat. Once you reach around 27 weeks, your baby can start to hear noises outside of the womb, including your voice. Familiarizing your child with your voice, while they are in the womb, can help you soothe and bond with them while aiding in language development as they grow into their childhood.

Talking with your baby once you reach the 27-week mark can increase feelings of attachment and begin creating a bond that will help your baby feel closer to you once they’re born. They’ll be able to recognize your voice and subconsciously associate it with safety.

Singing to your baby is another excellent way to develop your bond and strengthen your baby’s language development. Studies show that newborns can respond to their native language, which increases their brain activity and bond. When the pitch is changed, or they hear a language they don’t recognize from the womb, their brain activity isn’t as strong.

Singing is a natural way to shift your tone and pitch, allowing your baby to become familiar with different sounds while in the womb. The earlier they recognize these pattern shifts, the sooner their language skills are likely to develop.

Try singing one of your favorite nursery rhymes or songs. If you feel uncomfortable singing, you can also read children’s books or your favorite fiction book. The more language your child is exposed to in the womb, the greater the language base they’ll have to build on.

The benefits of talking to a baby in the womb extend beyond your child. When your baby feels safe, you encourage them to feel calm when they hear your voice. A calm newborn is more likely to sleep soundly so that you can catch up on your rest.

A mother gently carrying her baby while sitting on a chair.

Responding to Your Baby

You’ll likely start to feel your baby move when you reach a certain point in your pregnancy. You might feel a little kick or nudge from time to time, and the movement may become more frequent as your baby develops and you reach your due date.

When you feel these movements, you can respond by gently pushing your hand against the spot where they kicked and see if there’s a response — responding to your baby while in the womb is an excellent way to show them that they’re safe and you’ll be there for them. The mother-baby bonding theory shows that forming this attachment early helps in infant development.

Once you give birth, your baby will cry to signal their needs, whether because they’re hungry, tired or need a diaper change. When you respond to these situations, your baby will learn they can trust you to fulfill their needs.

You can start building this trust early by responding to their movements throughout pregnancy. Your baby will respond to you as much as you respond to them. By developing your bond earlier, you’ll likely notice that it becomes easier to soothe them once they’re born.

A strong attachment also lets your baby know they can explore new things during their development and have a safe place to return. They’ll have improved emotional health and be able to handle new situations as they grow, such as going to school for the first time or cooperating with others their age.

A mother is carrying and gazing happily at her baby.

Touching Your Baby Bump

One of the first senses your baby can develop in the womb is their sense of touch. It’s a fundamental sense for survival that lets them know if something is uncomfortable or dangerous.

Touching your baby bump frequently teaches your baby that they’re safe. They can also feel the different stimuli within the womb as you get closer to your delivery date. When your baby’s in the womb, they’ll experience different light patterns that help them get accustomed to the outside world. But their sense of touch won’t come into complete focus until their birth.

You can help them bond with you and get used to the slight sensation of your touch by rubbing your belly. You can do this while talking with them or rubbing on oils or creams. Once your baby is born, they’ll feel more attached to you and find comfort in your touch, allowing you to soothe them quicker when upset.

How Dads Can Bond With Their Unborn Baby

Expecting parents sitting together on a couch.

Mothers get plenty of time to bond with their unborn children while carrying them in the womb. However, it’s also essential that the father bonds with the baby during pregnancy. This will help the newborn baby see them as a comforting presence, allowing the father to calm them when the mother is resting or out of the home. Fathers can bond with their unborn children by:

  • Going to prenatal doctor appointments: Fathers can bond with their unborn baby by attending prenatal appointments, where they’ll get the chance to hear the baby’s heartbeat, movements, and developmental updates. Seeing your child’s development in real time can help you feel closer to the baby.
  • Taking care of the mother: When the mother is comfortable, so is the baby. Ask how you can take care of her during this time, whether taking care of some extra responsibilities around the home or caring for any other children you may have together. You’ll become more active in preparing for the baby, giving you time to do any necessary baby-proofing and shopping to ensure the newborn’s safety and comfort.
  • Massaging the mother’s belly: Just like a mother touching her baby bump can familiarize the baby with her touch, the baby can also become familiar with the father when he feels the mother’s belly. Fathers can also respond to kicks and other movements. Rubbing your partner’s belly also helps relieve their discomfort or itchiness due to the growing bump, helping her feel more comfortable.
  • Talking to the baby: Babies can recognize voices in the womb, so talking to the baby can help you develop a bond before they’re born. You can read books, tell them about your day, or sing to them.
  • Learning about pregnancy: Learning about the different stages of pregnancy can help you feel more connected to your child. You learn around what week the baby can recognize your voice and feel your touch and what the mother may need to ensure her comfort and comfort of the child.

Remember that bonding is something that happens naturally. It can seem overwhelming initially, but your instincts will take over before you know it, and you’ll develop a deep bond with your newborn.

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Keep Your Families Healthy for Life With Americord® Blood Banking

Bonding with your baby ensures that they feel safe with you, and there are other steps you can take to ensure their safety well into the future. At Americord®, we use  to collect and store your newborn’s umbilical cord and the blood that remains inside for a time when your child may need it. 

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are rich in cord blood, which can be utilized for numerous medical treatments. These stem cells can be used to treat numerous different conditions. While we hope that you never have to use these cells, we store them for you so that you have the option. Get started with Americord® today to secure your family’s future!

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