5 Ways to Increase Your Skin-to-Skin Time with Baby
The importance of skin-to-skin contact with a newborn cannot be measured, but it can be harder to find that time once the whirlwind of life with a baby sets in. Sharing 5 ways to increase that important bonding time
There really isn’t much that can compare to holding your baby for the first time and feeling his/her skin on yours. Honestly, it makes me tear up just thinking about it! Better move on, or else I’ll start planning for baby #3…
New moms know that skin-to-skin contact in the first moments, hours and days after birth are essential for infant development and bonding. In fact, that contact helps baby maintain a normal body temperature by helping to prevent heat loss (incredibly, the temperature of your breasts will actually adjust up and down to assist in regulating baby’s body temperature). Also, skin-to-skin helps bring baby’s heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rates back to normal after birth.
Once you settle into life with a newborn, it can become harder to get in that much needed skin-to-skin time. Ask me anything about those first days and weeks and I’ll tell you it’s basically a blur! Here are a few ways to increase the touch factor when life gets hectic:
ATTIRE: Less is more in this situation! Wear a tank top or sports bra and leave your baby in a diaper. Put them in a carrier or sling and wear him/her around the house.
TIMING: After you shower, take a few minutes to sit skin-to-skin with your baby. When it’s baby’s time to bathe, sneak in some skin-to-skin time when you’re wrapping baby in the towel.
FEEDING: While breast or bottle-feeding, dress baby in only a diaper and feed without your top on. Baby will love the warmth and closeness!
TO DO: Infant massage is a soothing exercise after bath time. The benefits are countless: did you know it actually triggers baby’s central nervous system, which releases hormones that calm and reduce stress? Amazing! Not to mention the fact that it’s a great bonding time with baby. Additionally, use yourself as a tummy time mat. Try this fun interactive activity while you’re laying on the bed without top on.
PARTNER TIME: Ask Dad/partner to participate, which is as simple as having him hold baby bare-chested.
Treasure this time with your sweet baby… not that you haven’t heard this a million times already, but it really does go by way too fast!
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