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  • Communicating With Your Baby Through Touch

    Your baby canít talk yet, nor fully understand precisely what youíre saying. So how do you tell your baby that you love him? Do it by touch.

    Babies can understand non-verbal gestures, especially when they can feel them on their own body. Experiencing love by touch is important to your babyís emotional and mental development, so dontít hold back!

    This is the first and most basic form of bonding between a parent and child. How lovingly you hold the child as you feed him milk, and how you smile and coo at him, will be felt by the baby. Of course, between bottle-feeding and breastfeeding, mothers who breastfeed their babies form a much stronger bond with them.

    dontít forget to ďburpĒ the baby in between feedings (babies tend to swallow lots of air as they suck in milk). The very act of patting his back to help him belch out air is a source of comfort for him.

    Hugs and kisses
    Go ahead, hug and kiss your darling baby as often as you want, the more the better. (Just make sure your hands and face are clean!) Babies instinctively know that theyíre being kissed and hugged because they are loved.

    Sleep or nap time caresses
    When itís time for baby to sleep, itís not enough that you whisper or sing to him. Lovingly hold your baby close, caress his body and head, and gently kiss him until he falls asleep. Itís also a great feeling for your baby to be held even when heís already fallen asleep. The memory of being held for hours by a loving parent is left indelibly in a childís mind.

    Bath and cleaning time
    Newborn infants should be given only sponge baths. When theyíre older by several months, then theyíre big enough to sit up in a small tub of warm water.

    Either way, bathing your baby isnít a time for rough scrubbing. Use clean hands to cup water or mild soap over your babyís body, and lovingly clean your child. Babies enjoy being loved and given attention this way; they know how much theyíre loved when their mother or fatherís gently cleaning them.

    Your loving touch extends after bath time, when you gently towel dry or powder your baby. Some babies even happily fall asleep when you (very carefully!) clean the outer parts of their ears or their belly buttons with a cotton bud.

    Adults arenít the only ones who benefit from massage. Babies love a gentle massage. (Of course, you have to be gentle.) You can incorporate a massage routine into your babyís regular sponge baths, or right after cleaning and changing of diapers. And if your babyís bottom is suffering from mild diaper rash, you can gently massage special baby lotion and powder onto that area to soothe him.

    For newborn babies, playing often means kisses, making funny faces, and tickling. Your baby loves the novelty and humor of being tickled! Be gentle, dontít be rough. Interact with your baby as you tickle him, making funny sounds and faces to make him laugh or smile. Itís going to be treat for you as well to hear your babyís adorable laugh!

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