Every new parent dreams of bonding with their new baby. Fortunately, some of the best bonding opportunities occur while feeding. Much has been written about the bonding that takes place during breastfeeding, but a bottle feeding mom need not despair. There are many feeding hours during which bottle feeding moms can bond too.
Cuddle Time - Bottle time is perfect for holding him close to you and letting him know he's safe and secure in your arms. Hold baby during feedings and let him hear your heartbeat, smell your scent and get to know his mom. An amazing attachment develops in these early months. Propping a bottle deprives baby of this important physical contact and can be dangerous possibly causing choking, suffocation, ear infections and baby bottle tooth decay. So cuddle, enjoy and be safe.
Communication Time - While it will be many months before she begins talking, while feeding start dialoguing with her. Tell baby her name, the names of her family members, and take this time to start telling her what's going on around her. Talk about her eating schedule, if she's still hungry or full, if she's given a saucy burp of champions or a wimpy one. Just talk to her - she'll love hearing your voice and knowing you're there with her.
Fun Time - It's never good to "play" while eating, but introducing a little song or relaxing music to hum to while feeding could be soothing and fun for both of you. Let him learn music is fun and mom gets to share in this time with him. If you're having fun, he will "tune" in too.
One on One Time - While holding her close and feeding her look deeply into her eyes. Talk about anything and everything under the sun - it could be as mundane as your grocery or daily to-do lists, just talk while maintaining eye contact. Babies love to look at your face and spend a great deal of time trying to give you loving touches back.
Make the most of the time that you'll spend feeding, interacting with your child. Remember, it doesn't begin and end with feeding either, but it's such a large part of an infants' day. Make it a routine. If possible, take him with you to make or get the bottle, feed him using some, or all, of the techniques described and then create an after-bottle routine. Babies love routine, but most importantly, they love being held, cuddled, cooed to and knowing that they are loved. Bottle time is a wonderful way to lay a foundation for a great relationship.