Guest Author - Julie Renee Holland
Bonding with your baby can begin long before your baby's birth. I have to admit that when I first heard of prenatal stimulation and bonding, I was very skeptical. Now that I have researched it and tried some of the techniques with my own unborn child I am convinced that prental bonding and stimulation are important ways to start your baby on the right path. Studies show that prenatal bonding can result in a happier, calmer baby, larger head circumference, enhanced social and learning ability and even an easier birth.
Prenatal bonding can be as simple as massaging your belly and talking to your baby or you can go with one of pre-designed learning systems such as the Baby Plus Prenatal Education System
A simple way to get started with early bonding is to simply take a 5-10 minute break a couple of times each day to focus on your baby. You can sing, dance gently, listen to music, rub your belly, or simply rest and talk to your baby. Once you can feel your baby's movements you can pat your baby's feet when they kick or rub their head. My little girl kicks gently every time I rub her head (as of this writing I am 21 weeks along).
My husband gets into the act as well by gently rubbing my belly and talking or singing to our baby. Research shows that babies will learn to recognize both parents' voices before birth. Newborns will calm when they hear these familiar voices as well as songs or stories they know from before birth.
An ultrasound is another bonding tool. Once you see your baby it is easier to envision them while you talk or play with them (especially if you choose to learn the gender). This is especially helpful for dads (and even grandmas and siblings) as they learn to see the baby as real since they can't have the same level of experience as the mom.
Bonding does not require any extra tools, but if you want to get the most out of it I recommend buying a book on prenatal bonding or investing in a prenatal bonding system to help you benefit from the latest research on prenatal learning.