Closeup of a father’s hand holding a newborn’s hand.

Bonding Tips for Non-Breastfeeding Moms (And Dads Too!)

If you’re a non-breastfeeding partner, have a health concern, or prefer to bottle feed, here are ways to bond with your baby without breastfeeding.

Bonding with your baby could not be more important. Not just for your baby but for you as a caregiver too! It not only makes your baby feel safer and helps them develop a healthy attachment style, but it makes you more attentive to their needs and simply a better parent.

At Veba Baby , making bottle-feeding a better, richer experience is what we are all about! That’s why we’re dishing out our favorite bonding tips for non-breastfeeding parents. Whether you’re the non-breastfeeding partner, have a health concern, or simply choose to bottle feed, we have the tips you need to feel deeply connected and how to bond with your baby on a whole new level — no breastfeeding required! So, grab your bottle, and maybe a burp cloth too, and let’s talk about it!

Touch Tummies

Time to snuggle! And not just because your baby is totally adorable. It’s all about feeling a connection with your baby and helping them feel secure both physically and emotionally. The best method is skin to skin contact. So go ahead and make sure you have enough skin exposed to make it really count. With both baby and parent (ideally) shirtless, lie down and put your baby on top of your chest to rest. This is your baby’s chance to relax to the sound of your heartbeat, the rhythm of your breathing, and the vibrations of your voice. An added bonus is that this practice can also regulate your baby’s body including their breathing, heart rate, and temperature.

New mother and father cuddling with their newborn child.

Be Playful

There’s no better time than tummy time to play your heart out! Your baby needs this time on the floor for their development. So, get down there with them and join! Play, have fun, and use happy facial expressions that will excite them. Getting down on the same level as them can be a great way to see eye to eye and make eye contact which is one of the key ways to bond with your baby. Keep in mind that babies can follow objects with their eyes. That means you can reach around to help them find their favorite toys to show your support for their activity! As your baby reaches too this can be super for developing their motor skills. A total plus!

Fun with Bathing

Now here’s an activity that's short but totally sweet! Bath time is an opportunity for physical touch, eye contact, and showing your care for your baby. As you wash them look them in the eyes, smile, and gently touch them too. For a relaxing bath time, you can use your voice to soothe them and maybe even sing them a nice little song. Or, opt for an energetic and playful bath instead! Pull out the toys and start smiling up a storm!

Respond to Cues

What better way to bond with your baby than forming a deep understanding of their cues? Doing your best to learn and react appropriately to your baby’s sounds and movements can really show them that you understand and care for them. This is an excellent way to get attuned to your baby’s needs and show them that they can trust you. It can make them feel more secure and can show you as a parent how well you know your baby. Especially if your baby is looking at you, showing you they are interested in attention, this is a great time to give it to them!Father reading a bedtime story to his young child.

Use Your Voice

Talk, read, sing, coo or do whatever it is you do. Your voice is like magic for bonding with your baby. So whether it’s reading aloud from a favorite kids story or singing them to sleep, your voice is something your baby should recognize. Do your best to avoid using a raised or frustrated voice around your baby. Instead focus on sweet, soothing sounds and happy laughter. But don’t be afraid to play around with it!

Better Bottle-Feeding

Now here’s the best part! Bottle-feeding. This is the perfect opportunity to bond. Whether you decide to keep it simple or try to create a simulated breastfeeding experience for your baby they are all great ways to bond with your baby and deepen that connection. You can look into their eyes with love, hold them gently, and make positive facial expressions. Whatever you do, as long as you show your baby love and attention, it will be a deeply connective experience as your baby feels how tenderly and attentively you care for them. What more could a mama (or papa!) want?

At Veba Baby, our mission is to empower parents with the best information and resources to be the best possible caregivers they can be. We hope these tips on how to bond with your baby are super helpful. But bonding is just one key part of the parenting puzzle! As a part of our work to help bottle-feeding parents' give their babies the best nutrition possible, we developed the only smart baby bottle monitor that tracks the freshness of both breastmilk and formula in real time. Head to our website to shop now. Or, for more tips on better bottle-feeding and parenting, check back in with our blog The Sip. You won’t want to miss a drop of our curated content just for parents like you!

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