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How do I know if I will be a good mom? Babies don’t usually like me. I never feel 100% comfortable holding them. Are these type of thoughts rattling around inside your pregnant head?
Hey, you are not alone!
Recently someone asked:
“How am I supposed to bond with my baby before he is born? It’s really awkward just talking to my belly and I already feel like he might not like me.”
“I’m not a baby person at all! They always start crying when they look at me.”
“I’m really more of an animal person.”
Before my babies I was NEVER a baby person. For the first 26 years of my life I “knew” that I was not going to ever be a mom. I always felt awkward holding them. I never felt the need to cuddle with them. There was never a burning desire to have one until way later in life.
“So how on earth am I supposed to bond with my baby when I am not even a baby person?” “How am I ever going to be a good mom?”
Well put your fears to rest, mama. All will be well!
Getting to know this stranger aka your baby
Yup, you read that right. Your baby is essentially a STRANGER! GASP!
When you first meet someone, chances are you are not the best of friends right away. Don’t get me wrong, some people just click. And so will some moms and their babies.
But not every mom and baby will. And guess what? This is completely NORMAL!
When I was pregnant with my first baby, some very motherly mom of 2 was so excited for me to meet my baby (you know, when I birth him).
She told me that:
“It was going to be the best thing in the world! That my heart will open up and love that I didn’t know I ever had in me will come pouring out!”A very well meaning co-worker
And of course, I believed her. . .
To my dismay, this was NOT what happened when I first laid eyes on him. It was more like a numb/shocked feeling. My labor and delivery was pretty rough. I was surprised I could even keep my eyes open after he finally came out of me.
But it’s okay if you don’t feel this overwhelming sense of joy and completeness right away.
This is a stranger that you have to get to know. You will have to learn this Mommy-Baby thing together, grow together, and eventually love together.
Personally, I think it’s one of the best parts of being a Mommy: Getting to know your baby and learn all their little adorable (and sometimes not so adorable) quirks.
Will I be a good mom while I am pregnant?
- Are you taking prenatals?
- Have you been going to your doctors appointments?
- Did you stop or cut back on the caffeine?
- Are you thinking about what you will need for the baby when he or she comes?
When you are pregnant, the things that you change in your life and do for your unborn baby is you being a good mom.
Bonding with baby during pregnancy:
How can you bond with someone that you haven’t technically met yet?
It’s easy, you pay attention to them and do things together:
- Pay attention to when your baby is the most active and when they like to sleep
- Listen to them when they want you to rest and put your feet up (mine let me know with Braxton Hicks contractions)
- Take walks together while rubbing your belly
- Tickle them when you feel a limb push against your belly
- Listen to music and dance together (Well, it will look like it is by yourself)
- Listen to them with a stethoscope to your belly
- Sing songs to your baby or just yourself if you feel funny about singing to your belly.
- Start talking to them, even if it feels awkward (but don’t worry if you can’t do it. My husband is not a talker and he didn’t talk much to my belly. But my babies still recognized his voice when they came out because he would talk to me or on the phone instead (they really are listening in there)
- Talk on the phone. They definitely recognized my voice even though I didn’t directly talk to my belly that often, most likely because I was on the phone a lot.
There are studies that actually show that babies remember songs that were played or sang to them in the womb!
My babies had favorite songs after they were born (songs that would console them or make them happy). And they were always the ones that they heard over and over again in the womb.
Coincidence??? I think not!
Unborn babies are very sensitive to your moods.
If you are in a calm and soothing environment, not only is it easier on their ears, but it helps YOU to relax.
It is so very important that you are taking deep breaths (preferably doing some sort of meditation) on a regular basis. It helps decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase happy hormones.
Your baby shares your bloodstream and all the other stuff that flows through it. If you are constantly pumping stress hormones through them, your baby will be stressed. If you are relaxed and happy, your baby will feel relaxed and happy as well.
Please do some prenatal yoga, get a pedicure, or indulge in a pregnancy massage. Keep those stress hormones to a minimum as much as you can.
Also, it’s loud in that womb!
From your intestines gurgling every few seconds to your breathing, and the loud pounding of your constant heart beat, it is never really quiet in there.
And it’s not sound proof, so they can hear outside the belly. It is muffled, but still audible.
So allow indulge in some quiet time or listen to some soothing music (I did this in my car). Go take a walk on an easy trail and listen to some nature. Anything to help soothe your ears and theirs.
You may as well enjoy the quiet before they come out. . .
Will I be a good mom to my newborn?
Most of us are not trained to be Mommies. So, you are not expected to know how to do everything right when that baby comes out.
It is a learning and growing process. Before this, we were not moms. We were daughters. I was a dog mom naively thinking this was going to prepare me for real motherhood.
Reality check: You can’t leave your baby in the backyard and close the door like you can for your dog. Oh, and you can’t leave them home alone with a bowl of water and food for a few hours at a time either.
What if my baby doesn’t like me?
I thought the same thing: I thought that my baby wouldn’t like me either. But they quite literally think of you as their ENTIRE world! They recognize your voice, your breathing, and heart beat (that’s why immediate and frequent skin to skin is so important).
Still don’t believe me? Babies are humans, right? And humans are creatures of habit and crave familiarity, right? Well:
“Studies have shown that we are attracted to what is familiar to us, and that repeated exposure to certain people will increase our attraction toward them. We are attracted to familiar people because we consider them to be safe and unlikely to cause harm.”psychologytoday.com
This holds true for even the tiniest of humans. And the only thing they know, is YOU!
They are so helpless and you become the only one that can make him feel better.
So don’t worry. Your baby will like you, your baby will love you, NO MATTER WHAT!
How to bond with my newborn baby?
Use your senses. All of them:
- Sight: Don’t just look at them (although that works too), look in the mirror at the two of you together, or take some selfies. It makes a really big difference with the bonding seeing the two of you together.
- Sound: Listen closely to their breathing when they are sleeping, its precious. Put your ear on their back or chest and listen to the tiny fast pitter-patter of their heart. Or listen to the wonderful coos and little grunts that only last for a couple months, you will miss those sounds later.
- Smell: My personal favorite. Goodness gracious, they smell good! My favorite sniffing spots? The top of their heads, the palms of thier hands, in between their toes (don’t judge me), the neck crevices, and the breath. Heavenly!
- Touch: My other personal favorite. OMG! The feel of their chubby silky skin on mine just doesn’t compare to anything else. Try putting your cheeks to their chubby skin. Oh! So lovely! I also do a lot of pinching (softly) too.
- And yes, even taste: When you nibble on their little fat arms or their leg rolls, I don’t know if it’s because of their wonderful smell that is mixed in, but they taste delicious! Sometimes I get a taste of baby drool when I kiss them on the mouth too (seems gross, but it’s not, it’s yummy!)
Your senses are so strongly connected to your brain, and this will skyrocket your bonding. Plus, babies thoroughly enjoy the attention.
Will I be a good mom when my baby grows to be an infant?
If you haven’t quite bonded they way you thought you would during the newborn stage, it’s okay. It gets better and better the more you get to know them.
The infant stage is where my bond for my babies went from it’s my baby and I love him to “OMG! I didn’t know I could love anything this much!”
The bond started slow. I would notice it when he was peacefully sleeping like an angel, especially if I got close enough to his face that I could smell his yummy breath!
Or when he started to fill out and grow some chub, his skin texture was addicting! I just couldn’t get enough!
I automatically became more of a touchy feely person. Don’t get me wrong, you do get ‘touched out’ as a mom, especially if you breastfeed (I get that way faster than most I think). But I for sure enjoy cuddles and touching much more than when I wasn’t a mom.
How to bond with your infant:
Same as with your newborn only this time your attention will sometimes be reciprocated!
Just continue doing what you do and your baby will start to do the most adorable things back to you instead of just staring off into space.
This is one of the best times because they start to fill out and get those wonderful baby fat rolls (my personal favorite). They start to talk with their eyes and make much more eye contact. They start to seem a little more human rather than alien (probably just my opinion).
Being a good mom and bonding through colic:
My baby was still a bit colicky when he entered the infant stage (3 months).
Colic does not mean you are a bad mom. Far from it! When you survive colic, you are a wonderful strong mom!
Babies digestive systems are getting used to eating real food (aka milk) and the world outside. Some babies just take it harder than others. It’s not your fault.
If you happen to have a baby who is colicky, I feel your pain. But know that it does not last forever. It really seems like it will, but it won’t.
Make sure that baby burps. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Sometimes it would take up to 30 minutes of tapping, patting, repositioning, bouncing, etc before that burp would come out. But it really helps make them more comfortable.
Give your baby a good probiotic (I like this one– it is so easy to give)
And take a good probiotic (like this one with prebiotics too) for yourself if you are breastfeeding.
I found doing both theses things to be really helpful with my colicky baby.
Remember! It gets easier every month. . .
YES! You will be a good mom to your baby!
I thought that my baby wouldn’t like me either, but they quite literally think of you as their ENTIRE world! They recognize your voice, your breathing and heart beat (that’s why immediate and frequent skin to skin is so important).
They are so helpless and you become the only one that can make him feel better in this brand new world. This is where you really begin Turning into a Mommy.
I was never a baby person, barely even held one before my own.
I didn’t feel an overwhelming bond right away. Colicky baby and postpartum depression did not help the situation (See my post on PPD here).
But you know what? The bond and closeness that I feel with my babies now is unmatched by anything I’ve ever experienced before.
It can take some time, and that is okay. But one day, you will look back and wonder how you came to love this little thing so much, you won’t know what hit you.
Leave a comment below or email me if you have any other questions or if you still think you will not be a good mom. I’d love to help you out!
All the love,