April 5, 2013

Baby Bonding

I have wanted to write this post for awhile and now I finally am (sigh).... feels good. This goes out to all my friends who are beautifully pregnant or have new sweet babes in their arms. (Wan, so sorry this is coming out a month after I said I would get back to you!)

I have to start by saying that I absolutely LOVE and completely cherish the first moments and months with my new little offspring. I definitely experience the "baby high" of hormones and love, the love that only comes from new life. With that said, I also experience pretty harsh postpartum depression and have had my fair share of cranky/super fussy babies. But in the midst of it all, I always seem to just "get" that this time with my little, totally dependent babe is so limited and SO precious.
Baby Bliss with Isaiah
Bliss with Isaac
With Grace
With Hope
I know that for others this isn't always the case and my heart and admiration goes out to you for pushing through with your babes without all the warm fuzzies.

These are the simple ways that I love to bond with my new little ones.

1. Skin to Skin Right Away
When my babes are first born I immediately have the doctor put my baby right on my chest. I am obnoxiously insistent with the nurses during labor and with the doctor when I am pushing that baby must be placed on my chest and NOT taken away. And by not taken away I mean that the baby stays on my person until I say that I am good and ready, ie: until my babe has latched on, slept, nursed some more, slept some more, repeat over and over again. Yes, I totally annoy the nurses. And yes, I become a huge mamma bear, but somehow they know not to get in my way. Of course, you don't have to be quite as obnoxious as I am in this regard (I did let the nurse weigh Hope 15 minutes after she was born, which made Matt happy because it made me seem just a little bit less cray cray to all that was around).
The moment Hope was put on my chest. 
2. Husband: Skin to Skin 
Matt is ordered, I mean likes, to do the same skin to skin contact after baby is born. He always holds babe sans shirt for long periods of times. This allows our babes to snuggle right up, getting to know his scent, touch, voice, and hold. Matt was able to do this with Isaiah the most (hence no other little ones around pulling at him) and I can tell you that their bond as baby and dad was amazing.
Matt skin to skin with Isaac. So sweet. 
3. Continue skin to skin: How many times can I say skin to skin?
Skin to skin continues for us throughout the next 2 months. Most of the time I don't even end up putting an outfit on my baby until we leave the hospital. I simply keep her right smack on top of me with blankets over both of us or swaddled tight within arms distance. When I get home, again, I keep babe barely dressed so I can easily put her on my chest at any time. I usually keep a loose tank on and slip baby right in.
Hope in my tank, Matts foot, and I believe JPII on the tv. 
4. Bathing Together 
For the first 2 months babe and I take baths together. With multiple kids this can only happen when my other littles are down for the night. So, with Hope it was often apart of our nightly routine. I kept Hopie right on my chest or stomach, covered in water so she stayed warm, but out enough so that she didn't swallow water (probably didn't need to explain that, but anywho) and she would usually nurse on and off. I love having that sweet time with babe. Matt is always within ear shot ready with a towel for baby when we are done. He is super great like that.

5. Baby wearing 
I love wearing my babies, especially when they are so little. When I am out just with babe I love to wear them in the sling, snuggled right up close. It can be an instant soother and helps me to be somewhat hands free.
Isaac in a sling. 
Hope in the Bjorn
6. Hold Your Baby
If none of the above work for you and your babe, I am a big believer in just simply holding your baby. Whether I am sitting on the couch, in the rocking chair or at the park-- I try to take time to hold em. This is how my babies have gotten to know me and vice versa. I have found, especially with the last 2 babies, that is is really so important for me to take intentional holding time to get to know them. Their smell, touch, cry, heart beat. Yes, this may seem like duh Kristin of course you should be holding your newborn, but with multiple kiddos or lots of family in town or whatever the reason, us moms (me) have to be intentional about taking time and making the effort to hold and get to know our baby.

**Side note** I do thank God that Hope likes her bouncy and car seat, because out of pure necessity she does spend a lot of time there. But she is still held A LOT and we still did skin to skin MUCHO, especially at night when the kids were sleeping (and the first week of her life when my mom had all my other kiddos-- thanks mom :).
I am a firm believer that we should never worry about holding our babies too much. This is what our babies need and ultimately what we need. I will never forget a conversation I had with a friend shortly after Isaiah had entered the world. With Zah I was in so much pain from birthing his oh so big 6lb 3 oz body, I tore from Naples all the way to the next county. Serious pain. When sitting on the couch whimpering about barely being able to move around, my friend said to me: "Did you ever think that God may have designed it this way, so that you could just sit, nurse and bond with your baby?" No. No, I hadn't. But I think she nailed it on the head. I do have say though, Praise God that He knows how much we can handle in each given birth (especially with toddlers in the mix), because since sweet baby Zah each recovery has been easier and faster.

7. Last but NOT least, cut yourself a break
The first 3 months, yes I said 3 and maybe I meant 6, take it easy on yourself. Over here in Boda world we order take out when we need to, we highly rely on my mom and dad, my siblings and Matt's parents, when they are in town, and babysitters to help with our other kids. We always find a good tv series, so that we can spend countless hours on the couch nursing (me) and holding (he) our baby.
Be good to yourself, before you know it yours will be doing this.

** Last side note ** Feel free to skip this one, I know that this post has been somewhat long.
With all of this baby loving talk (and as my 6 month old has been squawking at me for the last 5 minutes to pick her up off the floor) I must clarify that I am a mom that tries really hard to be au naturel when it comes to my babies and at times I have even been called a tree hugger. But in the same breathe, it must be said that I only seem to able to handle child birth with the help of an epidural, I really enjoy pain meds to help with the after pains from birth, and I train my babies to sleep without having to nurse to sleep. So, what I am trying to say is that as far as baby bonding or being oh-so-natural---whatever works for you is what is best for you and your sweet babe. So Happy baby bonding, friends!!

Ps. This el naturale mom sometimes lets her biggers have 3+ pieces of candy in a row (hence this Easter Sunday and today, bribing them to be quiet while I took a nap). And I can sometimes let them watch too much tv (again today while I napped). How that goes with baby bonding, I know not. Just trying to keep it real. 


  1. Awe Kristin I loved reading this and loved the pics!! I love how you keep it real!!! Love it and love you!! If you get the chance check out my new website and blog at

    1. Kerry, you are so sweet! I love essential oils. I will message you in Fb about them :).

  2. Great post! Sorry you feel like the doctors and nurses think you are weird for wanting skin to skin-- that is best for baby! I had a midwife and she plus all the nurses were very supportive of my desire to have baby all to myself after he was born. We did a lot of what you mentioned, though it took me two months to find a carrier/sling that my son could stand. He hated the moby and the ergo with insert and sling. Finally I found the beco gemini which lets their little legs hang free and he liked that. :)

    1. I really wanted a midwife with me! Actually for my first born I was at a midwife birth center. I ended up being transferred after a day and half of active labor. Night. Mare! But I so loved being in that environment. I'll have to check out the beco gemini :).

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