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Dr. Anne Zachry

occupational therapist & child development specialist

Author: Anne Zachry (page 2 of 22)

Bonding with Your Baby

Life can be extremely busy, but don’t let that deter you from bonding with your baby.  You can always find the time in the midst of your busy days to spend quality time with your infant, which will help the two of you build a lifetime bond.  Here are several tips for bonding with your baby:

  • “Wear” your baby whenever possible.  Using an age appropriate wrap or sling will ensure that your baby feels your presence while keeping your hands free.  Baby wearing can be calming for infants, and it helps them learn about movement as well as their world.
  •  Make feeding time special- Nursing or giving your bottle a baby can be a quiet bonding time that both of you enjoy.  Make opportunities to be skin to skin so that your infant can smell your scent and relax during this special time.
  • Keep baby close- While your newborn is sleeping, keep the bassinet or crib close to your bed so that you will know when your baby needs you.  This also makes feeding times simpler since baby is close by.
  • Respond- Your baby’s cry is how she communicates with you.  It’s her way of letting you know if she’s cold, hot, wet or hungry.  Be sure to respond to your infants cries as this is how she learns to trust.



How to prevent SIDs

Every parent wants to know how to prevent SIDS.  SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant one year of age or younger.  The majority of SIDS deaths occur between the ages of 1 month and 4 months.  Here are a number of ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  1.  Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back in a crib, for night and for naps in the same room where you are.
  2. Place baby to sleep on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet and no loose blankets, pillows, bedding, crib bumpers, or stuffed animals.
  3. Avoid putting baby to sleep in carriers, swings, sofas, or on a soft mattress.
  4. Mothers should not smoke, drink or take drugs during pregnancy, and do not allow any one to smoke around your baby.
  5. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.
  6. Give baby a pacifier (not attached with a ribbon/string) at night. If the pacifier falls out of your baby’s mouth, don’t replace it.
  7. Don’t let baby get overheated by keeping the room at a comfortable temperature and dressing her in one layer.
  8. Keep your baby up to date with vaccinations.
  9. Avoid using products that say they will reduce SIDS such as wedges and sleep positioners.

During baby’s waking hours, provide plenty of tummy time.  This will help strengthen baby’s arm, neck, and trunk muscles.

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Infant Massage is Beneficial!

Photo Credit: Praisaeng

Photo Credit: Praisaeng

Touch plays an important role in infant development, and research reveals that infant massage is beneficial.  When you massage your baby, you are bonding and forming a special connection!  In fact, research tells us that regular massage is calming, improves sleep, and reduces infant stress.  You can start massaging your baby at the age of 2 to 3 weeks with your pediatrician’s approval.  For more information on baby massage, I highly recommend “Aimee’s Babies Developmental DVD with Baby Massage.”

Benefits of Massage:

-Improved growth and development

-Stress reduction

-Calms the infant


-Improved body awareness

-Improved sleep

Don’t Massage Your Baby When:

-Baby is ill

-Baby has a rash or skill condition

-Baby arches body or resists during massage

-Baby cries during massage and won’t stop

-Your baby’s breathing increases during massage


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