Every adoptive parent is worried that it is going to be difficult to bond with their adopted baby. These feelings are normal, and they only mean that you care about being a good, loving parent for your child. Just remember, adoptive parents are just as successful at forming attachments as biological parents. Bonding is a journey, not something that happens in a flash. To help you bond with your adopted baby, here are some useful tips!
1. Always be there.
Respond to your baby's cries physically or verbally within 15 seconds. This promotes trust and creates the perception for your baby that you are always going to be there.
2. Don’t rush it.
With any newborn baby, whether they were adopted or not, there will be fussiness, like refusing to eat or sleeping for too many or too few hours. Such behavior has nothing to do with your parenting abilities, and it is most likely it will pass in a few weeks. Just as with any parent, it will take a little while to understand what your baby needs and when.
Newborns soak up language from their surroundings. Talk to your baby often. Try explaining what you're doing when you're changing her diaper, preparing him for bedtime, giving her a bath, as and other daily activities. This way your baby will grow accustomed to your voice, he will form a positive association with it, and bonding will be significantly easier.
4. Get your older kids involved.
Your whole family should be involved in bonding with your adopted baby to make the process easier and less stressful for everyone. If you have other children, make them a part of the bonding process. Ask them to make funny faces when you’re changing diapers or bathing the baby.
5. Make eye contact.
Eye contact is a fantastic way to promote bonding. Facilitate eye contact with your baby by playing peek a boo or making funny faces. Babies love simple games like this, and such experiences make interactions with you fun and rewarding. Feeding time also offers a great opportunity for eye contact. Newborn babies can't focus farther than 8–12 inches away, which is the perfect distance for her to look at your face while you're feeding her.
6. Create rituals and routines.
Everyday activities increase confidence and trust. Babies thrive on routines, and it's never too early to start building them into your day. A great way to start is introducing a simple bedtime routine. Do the same things around the same time each day or night so your baby grows to understand what to expect and when. This way, there will be less stress for everyone involved.
It takes time to build any relationship, so don’t try to rush it. When your baby feels you care, love will grow naturally. As long as you are honest and open as a parent, you are going to do just fine!