bonding

Sarah - posted on 06/14/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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this is just a general musing on my behalf really.......

i've read so many posts from mum's saying that breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and the like, have given them an 'extra special' bond with their baby. while i'm sure that's true, i feel i have an 'extra special' bond with my girls too, and yet i have done none of the above!

so do you all think that in order to have a good bond with your kids, you need to breastfeed, co-sleep, not let them cry etc, or do you think it's possible to have that wonderful bond without doing those things??

just something i've been wondering about, so some views would be nice!! :)

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Clare - posted on 06/14/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

bonding

this is just a general musing on my behalf really.......
i've read so many posts from mum's saying that breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and the like, have given them an 'extra special' bond with their baby. while i'm sure that's true, i feel i have an 'extra special' bond with my girls too, and yet i have done none of the above!
so do you all think that in order to have a good bond with your kids, you need to breastfeed, co-sleep, not let them cry etc, or do you think it's possible to have that wonderful bond without doing those things??
just something i've been wondering about, so some views would be nice!! :)



you bond with your children any way that you find is comfortable. i think its just a old wives tale of all the above because doing all of the above not everybody bonds with their children so i dont think that there is no worries. yhou are obviously doing something right if you have a great bond with your girls. doing all the above i think just make your children clingy and not want to leave you so it is better to make a bond some other way because at least you are giving them space

Megan - posted on 06/14/2009

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I think every mother is different, as are her children and the relationship she has with her children is all her own. It doesn't take co-sleeping, breastfeeding or the like to form a special bond with your children. Its the mindset around these things that form the bond. This mindset can be achieved in so many ways. What forms this bond in one mother could be tedious and inconvienent to another...I guess my answer is YES you can form these same special bonds with your children without co-sleeping etc...every "extra-special" bond is yours to create however you decide to do so.

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Sarah - posted on 04/10/2013

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When I read your post I got really cross with the mums who said they had a 'very special bond' because of all the stuff they did. How do they know what anyone else's bond is like to know that theirs is "extra special"? Everybody's experience of childbirth is different. Loads of mums can't breastfeed. Does that mean they don't have the "extra special bond" What a load of tosh. You bond with your baby the way you want to. You go with your instincts and if the bond doesn't happen for a while because of hormones or PND or any number of other reasons then that's fine too.
Sorry, that was a little bit of a rant. But seriously, don't listen to them.

[deleted account]

I agree it's not necessary. Certainly it's not necessary to do "all of the above". ha I think it's easier to not give your child as much attention and cuddling and contact as he/she needs if you don't do any of the above, but if you are making a point of holding your baby and giving them lots of affection and spending time with them, interacting with them then you can develop a good bond with them.

[deleted account]

To be honest, I found it so hard to bond with my son for those first few months because he arrived 1 month early unexpectantly. I just went through the motions of trying so hard to nurse and learn to be a mom. I started to resent the circumstances of his birth and crappy hospital experience, that depression sunk in. The first 2-3 months are a blur and most of my memories are simpyl through pictures & videos. We co-slept, I wore my son, I nursed, I showed him off, attended nursing mommy groups, etc. But I honestly didn;t feel like I bonded with my son until he was at least 4 months old.

Sarah - posted on 06/15/2009

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Quoting Joy:

I agree with what the other wise Mommies have said. Out of the three things you mentioned, I did all but the only one we were successfull with was the co-sleeping. I breasfed for the first 6 weeks and have my own horror story about that issue but suffice it to say that it was a MISERABLE experience for me. I feel like from the first time I gave him a bottle, our bond got stronger because I wasn't dreading the feedings. I still would have skin on skin contact while I bottlefed (my shirt off and him right up on my chest) and we bonded quite nicely that way. As for the "baby wearing" LOL I tried that several times, with a few different devices. None felt comfortable to me. Either the strap(s) were uncomfortable or it just didn't distribute the weight right, etc. Next baby I'd like to try one of the slings though. I've heard great things about them. Now we did manage to co-sleep for the first 6 months but not exclusively. It was random. He would start out in his bassinet next to my side of the bed. Sometimes after a feed I would let him stay in the bed with us. Sometimes I put him back in his bassinet. It all depended on if he fell asleep or not. If he was still awake after a feed I would hold and cuddle and snuggle with him and then put him in his bassinet awake or semi-awake. If he fell asleep after a feed, I usually just let him sleep with us. Thank God my husband liked having him so close! That being said though, I don't think co-sleeping gave us a "better" bond than another mother has who has put her baby in its own bed from day one. Like the other moms have said, the bond comes from love, from quality time, snuggles, kisses, rocking to sleep, caring and nurturing your baby. I look at it like this, a couple can adopt a 1 year old baby and still bond with that baby. It's all about the time and the love in my book.


i'm glad you said about the breastfeeding thing. i too found it to be extrememly traumatic for me, but more importantly, for my baby! you lasted way longer than i did!! i think bottle feeding is a bonding time too, as you say, with them snuggled up to you. it's also a nice way for daddy and baby to bond! (not that i'm anti breasfeeding! i'm not!) 



your point about adoption is a good one too! thanks for the post! :)

[deleted account]

I agree with what the other wise Mommies have said. Out of the three things you mentioned, I did all but the only one we were successfull with was the co-sleeping. I breasfed for the first 6 weeks and have my own horror story about that issue but suffice it to say that it was a MISERABLE experience for me. I feel like from the first time I gave him a bottle, our bond got stronger because I wasn't dreading the feedings. I still would have skin on skin contact while I bottlefed (my shirt off and him right up on my chest) and we bonded quite nicely that way. As for the "baby wearing" LOL I tried that several times, with a few different devices. None felt comfortable to me. Either the strap(s) were uncomfortable or it just didn't distribute the weight right, etc. Next baby I'd like to try one of the slings though. I've heard great things about them. Now we did manage to co-sleep for the first 6 months but not exclusively. It was random. He would start out in his bassinet next to my side of the bed. Sometimes after a feed I would let him stay in the bed with us. Sometimes I put him back in his bassinet. It all depended on if he fell asleep or not. If he was still awake after a feed I would hold and cuddle and snuggle with him and then put him in his bassinet awake or semi-awake. If he fell asleep after a feed, I usually just let him sleep with us. Thank God my husband liked having him so close! That being said though, I don't think co-sleeping gave us a "better" bond than another mother has who has put her baby in its own bed from day one. Like the other moms have said, the bond comes from love, from quality time, snuggles, kisses, rocking to sleep, caring and nurturing your baby. I look at it like this, a couple can adopt a 1 year old baby and still bond with that baby. It's all about the time and the love in my book.

Sarah - posted on 06/15/2009

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i think Mary has put it just right! i really like that people have come on here and said that they have done the methods mentioned and still realise that those who don't have an equal bond with their children.
i definately think it's about the time you spend with them and all the little things you do that make a difference!
thanks for all your comments so far! :)

Mel - posted on 06/15/2009

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Mary is right its not necessary to do these things to bond. my girl is formula fed and by tube so she wouldnt remember when i used to hold her and give her a bottle, and both of us have bonded just fine with her to be honest. so much so that she holds her arms out for us if someone else has her

Mary - posted on 06/15/2009

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I don't think that it is necessary to breastfeed, co-sleep, etc to develop a "special bond" with your child....these things are great for the moms who chose, and are capable of doing them. I'm breastfeeding, and just recently realized I'm a baby-wearer (my bjorn is the only way I can walk Molly & my 2 big dogs all together, lol, - I think it helped the 3 of them 'bond'), but I know in my heart that we would be bonded even if I didn't BF or wear her. I think back to all of our moms, most of whom did not do all these things b/c they simply weren't valued in the 70's, and think many of us bonded with our parents just fine. I also have friends who have adopted children who were a little older, and I dare someone to question the strength of the bond there!



I really believe that many things shape the relationship between a mother & child...breastfeeding, co-sleeping & baby-wearng can't last forever, but unconditional love, acceptance, encouragement...these are what is needed throughout that baby's lifetime to MAINTAIN that bond. I also look at my husband, who cannot BF, does not "wear" her, but wow...the relationship they share (& have from the moment she was born)...it fills my heart with joy & wonder. That little girl adores her Daddy, and vice versa. I am so blessed that my daughter has such a devoted father...I have complete fatih that she will have the same incredible bond with her daddy that I shared with my own father for all of my 38 years.



Sorry if I wandered...to borrow a phrase from another mom on this site...I get a bit offended with those "mommier than thou" women who often get a little judgemental or self-righteous about some of these topics you've mentioned. I may have chosen to breastfeed and baby wear, but only b/c it worked for me & MY baby. I would be a fool to think that my bond with her is any stronger than another's b/c of that.

[deleted account]

I breastfeed and co-sleep with my 9 month old. I see it as one way to bond, but by no means is it the only way. To be honest, though co-sleeping fits with a lot of my other parenting choices, I really wonder sometime if I'd be doing it still if I didn't work full time. Being away from my son during the day, I really feel a strong urge to spend that extra time at night near him. I expect that we all have ways of bonding that work for us.

Kat - posted on 06/14/2009

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I think love; unconditional love is what bonds you to your child. I think showing & expressing love makes that bond stronger & more visible. I breastfeed, but i do not do any of the others. My daughter & I share kisses & cuddles constantly during her awake times. She is constantly saying Mummumumumum, putting her arms up to me. Giving me the best smiles, giving me the best kisses, singing songs to me & showing me her love that she doesn't show to anyone else. Even to her dadadadada. And "extra special" bond is what all loving mothers have with their own children. None more than another.

[deleted account]

i have managed to bond well with my baby boy,although we got off to a bad start. four days after birth i developed double pnumonia and ended up on life support, then ended up with heart failiure which is called peri-partum cardiomyopathy. related to pregnancy,and got told rapidly i could have no more children. i was so weak i could not even hold my baby properly. i missed all the first things,walking him in the pram, bathing him etc....and felt so upset about being so useless to him. my husband and sister-in-law did it all. it's been a nightmare,but i am getting stronger and i can do more with my baby now. despite everything we have bonded so well. he follows me everywhere,loves my hugs,cuddles and kisses. we caught up on all the missed moments,and i thank God that i was given the chance to be a mummy. my love for my son is overwhelming,and i'm proof that while i'm sure all you said does help bonding it's not the be all end all.

Emily - posted on 06/14/2009

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I am currently bf 1 year old twins - though they do have to cry sometimes cause that is how life with twins is and I am to paranoid for cosleeping. There is no doubt in my mind that the bond I have with my girls is NO DIFFERENT from any bond a mommy would have with their baby. I am glad bf worked out for me because with twins there is very little 1 on 1 time and bf has allowed that. But in terms of a bond...it's the time spent together doing whatever!

[deleted account]

I only have 1 child so I'm probably not the best person to answer that question. But my friend had 4 kids. She BF with 3 but was unable to with 1. She loved them all the same. I also know people who co-sleep with 1 but not the others, I don't think it makes a difference. I also know a mom who used to co-sleep with her baby, but she didn't take care of him in other ways and did drugs so he go taken off her. I think caring for your children and being there for them is the most impotant thing rather than what parenting methods you choose.

Sarah - posted on 06/14/2009

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to add another question to it.......
i wonder if anyone has done the breastfeeding, co-sleeping with one child and not the other?? and if so, do they feel more bonded with one over the other??
for example, i had a vaginal birth with my 1st and a c-section with my 2nd and some people did ask me if i felt more detatched from my 2nd because of it. i didn't tho, i felt the same rush of love and instant bond with both. :)

Stephanie - posted on 06/14/2009

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I could not breast feed, I did not co-sleep with my baby, I did not "wear" her either but we have a great bond. I spend lots of time talking to her, tickling her, teasing her, and playing with her. She still loves to do all of those things and she is 5 now. I still take time to wrestle, tickle, and play with her. I read to her at night before we go to bed. I talk to her in the car while driving. I play games with her. They just need contact..that can come in many forms. Have fun with them and the bonds will never fail.

Sarah - posted on 06/14/2009

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Quoting Toni:

I did all of the above (but not he crying thing, i let him cry) and it still look me about 9-10 months to bond with my son (2nd child) I found it hard to bond with either of my children properly until they grew a personallity and i could relate to them in someway, but when they were born i just felt like I was working to look after them, but now we have a unbreakable bond. I dont think it is fair to say 'extra special' bond though. we all grew them and bring them up, a bond is a bond and I personally dont see how it can be 'extra' special? or is that just me? but yes I do believe that that wonderful bond comes whether you do these things or not. xx


it's nice to hear someone who did those things say that a bond can be formed just as well without doing them. i feel like sometimes people use the whole 'bonding' issue to try and justify that their way of doing things, ie. co-sleeping etc, is the only way to get a really strong bond with your kids. 



personally, i fell in love the minute i saw my babies (lucky me! haha!) and from the minute i saw them that bond was there. i don't think it matters about how you breastfed, or how long you did it, or if you co-slept or whatever. 



i know not all mum's feel that bond straight away, i had a friend like that, but now you would never have thought it! my husband is also one who needs the baby to be a bit more 'interactive' as he calls it, before he really bonds with baby.



truly, i think that these methods are fine if that's how you want to bring up your child, but i don't think they have any bearing on the strength of the bond :)

Lynne - posted on 06/14/2009

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When you say treatment, it reminds me of when I tried to get my daughter in for help w/ some problems she was having. I did everything I could. And it felt great. There's nothing like it. The universe does magic when you try to help your child. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. She got the help she needed even though I didn't think she was going to cooperate. It didn't seem like it was working, what I was trying to do, but the Lord helps in His own way. He sees our efforts and he responds.

Lynne - posted on 06/14/2009

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Quoting Jill:

I try to spend one-on-one time with each of my children. A trip to the park, shopping, lunch, sitting in the big chair and reading..... It gets easier as they get older. Look your child in the eye and really listen. I'm a terrible "nagger" about treatment (my daughter is 15). I could use some advise on that account.


 

[deleted account]

I've always thought that it was the time you spent with you kids that mattered. Some moms co-sleep, some moms get on the floor and play with hotwheels. It's what works for you.

Lynne - posted on 06/14/2009

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Quoting Clare:




Quoting Sarah:

bonding

this is just a general musing on my behalf really.......
i've read so many posts from mum's saying that breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and the like, have given them an 'extra special' bond with their baby. while i'm sure that's true, i feel i have an 'extra special' bond with my girls too, and yet i have done none of the above!
so do you all think that in order to have a good bond with your kids, you need to breastfeed, co-sleep, not let them cry etc, or do you think it's possible to have that wonderful bond without doing those things??
just something i've been wondering about, so some views would be nice!! :)








you bond with your children any way that you find is comfortable. i think its just a old wives tale of all the above because doing all of the above not everybody bonds with their children so i dont think that there is no worries. yhou are obviously doing something right if you have a great bond with your girls. doing all the above i think just make your children clingy and not want to leave you so it is better to make a bond some other way because at least you are giving them space







 





Yes, this is helpful to me. I am relieved to hear what you said here. :-) I didn't get a chance to breastfeed and I have a very close bond w/ my daughter. I always worried and also felt that I had missed the chance to bond w/ my baby. But now I intuitively have always known that she needed her space. And I enjoy and feel good about giving her that. I feel like it makes me a good mom to give her that. In fact, I'm sure that it was meant to be that I didn't breastfeed because she intuitively has the ability to take the space that she needs and reminds me if I am getting too close for comfort, such as sending too many texts on the cell, or bothering her too much. She loves when I give her space to live and breathe and grow. She respects me more when I am not needy, etc. She is a good friend to me though. She loves me alot. And she has always known how much I love her. She's awesome & I know that she is going to be an incredible woman. But she has a lot of time still to spend w/ me and our family, still as a girl! And I am so happy about that! She's my little cutie!

[deleted account]

You don't need to do those things to bond with your children. There are all sorts of ways to bond. I think meeting the babies physical needs and giving baby lots of cuddles are more useful for bonding than the above examples. The above examples are helpful in the bonding process, but they are not the only ways.

Chrissy - posted on 06/14/2009

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I agree, I think you bond to your children in your own way, whatever it may be. Maybe even simply because you are their mother. Anything that makes you feel closer to them, makes you bonded to them. I felt disconnected from my daughter for most of the time she was in the hospital. Terribly protective, but I didn't believe she was mine. She slept in her own room as soon as she came home, and because we supplemented her milk she was largely bottle fed. Just spending time with her, watching her grow, and seeing how protective of her I am around other people I felt the bond. I stay home with my daughter, and I think that helped us bond - just spending the time together. But I know many moms who work outside of the house that have a strong bond also. I think it's up to the mom, whatever makes you feel close is what builds that bond. My husband just needed the one look and he was bonded. My daughter is now 1, and when she smiles or laughs at me, comes over to hug me, or kisses me - I feel just how close we are. Of course, I also know some moms who don't seem terribly bonded to their children, and don't seem to even like them all that much - so there is definitely a mindset thing. It's possible that for some parents co-sleeping, breastfeeding, making their own baby food - is all just their way of expressing their love. A parent who isn't bonded probably wouldn't do all that, but just because you don't do it doesn't mean you aren't bonded.

Toni - posted on 06/14/2009

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I did all of the above (but not he crying thing, i let him cry) and it still look me about 9-10 months to bond with my son (2nd child) I found it hard to bond with either of my children properly until they grew a personallity and i could relate to them in someway, but when they were born i just felt like I was working to look after them, but now we have a unbreakable bond. I dont think it is fair to say 'extra special' bond though. we all grew them and bring them up, a bond is a bond and I personally dont see how it can be 'extra' special? or is that just me? but yes I do believe that that wonderful bond comes whether you do these things or not. xx

Jill - posted on 06/14/2009

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I try to spend one-on-one time with each of my children. A trip to the park, shopping, lunch, sitting in the big chair and reading..... It gets easier as they get older. Look your child in the eye and really listen. I'm a terrible "nagger" about treatment (my daughter is 15). I could use some advise on that account.

Jill - posted on 06/14/2009

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I try to spend one-on-one time with each of my children. A trip to the park, shopping, lunch, sitting in the big chair and reading..... It gets easier as they get older. Look your child in the eye and really listen. I'm a terrible "nagger" about treatment (my daughter is 15). I could use some advise on that account.

Clare - posted on 06/14/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

bonding

this is just a general musing on my behalf really.......
i've read so many posts from mum's saying that breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and the like, have given them an 'extra special' bond with their baby. while i'm sure that's true, i feel i have an 'extra special' bond with my girls too, and yet i have done none of the above!
so do you all think that in order to have a good bond with your kids, you need to breastfeed, co-sleep, not let them cry etc, or do you think it's possible to have that wonderful bond without doing those things??
just something i've been wondering about, so some views would be nice!! :)



you bond with your children any way that you find is comfortable. i think its just a old wives tale of all the above because doing all of the above not everybody bonds with their children so i dont think that there is no worries. yhou are obviously doing something right if you have a great bond with your girls. doing all the above i think just make your children clingy and not want to leave you so it is better to make a bond some other way because at least you are giving them space

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