Going back to work after a baby can be tough especially if you acutely feel the separation from your little one. If you are out of the house early, and only back just in time for bedtime, you might feel like you are disconnected from your role as a parent and all that is so special about the close early days, weeks and months with your baby. Guilty feelings can stop you from feeling good as a parent and this can impact how you interact with your child.
I would like to share with you five things you can do every night when you get in from work, before your baby goes to bed, that will help to boost the bond between you, get the feel good hormones flowing and bring you closer together. The good news is that these things are completely free, can be learnt by anyone and are backed by science as a great way to improve both you and your baby’s emotional and mental health.
Have a cuddle, skin to skin, & bath or do some massage. Any kind of skin to skin contact lasting more than ten minutes enables your body produce a wonderful feel good hormone called oxytocin which helps you relax and chemically feel more bonded to your baby. Your baby’s body produces it too and it can help with sleeping and feeding. It’s the presence of oxytocin, nicknamed “the love hormone” produced thorough physical touch, which is seen to be important in creating lasting bonds between long term couples and parents and babies. Regular production of oxytocin will help you to feel more bonded with your child so when you are away you can quickly return to your connected state with a bedtime massage or cuddle.
Eye contact-Lots of eye contact will also help to produce oxytocin in both you and your baby’s body which again helps to reconnect you. Baby gazing is a great way to tune in and fall in love.
Read to your baby before bedtime-Reading helps create a bedtime ritual for you and your child. Having a favourite book which is just for these special moments helps to create happy memories and again provides lots of opportunities for cuddles. You can even combine a story with a little bit of massage to get the oxytocin flowing even more.
Breathe-It sounds obvious but it’s important to discharge all the stress and rush of work before you spend time with your baby. Remember your baby learns about the world from you so change out of your work clothes and get out of your work head before you reconnect. Have a cuddle and take ten deep breaths together with your child so you can really tune into each other.
Be present– When you are home, be present with your child. Switch off and put your phone away. Show your child through your actions that he/she is now your focus and that you are excited and happy to be with with him/her. Giving your baby your full attention really communicates your love.
For more information on how to use nurturing touch and massage to connect with your child, visit our website www.blossomandberry.com