I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 15 months researching ways to play & bond with my little boy – the one we already live with. And in the interest of fairness, I wanted to try and extend that bonding to the 25 week old bump now protruding so far out that I can no longer see the world beneath it… Honestly, I’ve already gained two stone. But let’s not get into that.
Below, I’ve compiled the 10 ways to bond with an unborn baby that I thought were particularly lovely. If you have any more ideas to add, please feel free to leave a comment ♡
1/ Give baby a name. Baby names are an absolute minefield, as I discovered when pregnant with my first. Does it go with your surname? Will the initials spell a rude word? Will one of your pregnant mates pinch the name out from under you before your own cherub enters the outside world? It’s a lot to think about, which is why giving your baby a name in utero may seem like utter madness. However, the name you use when they’re in your tummy doesn’t have to be the same as the one they use in the long run. Giving your baby a nickname will make talking about, and to, them feel more natural, and help to nurture a bond early on. It can be anything. I have a friend that referred to her little girl as ‘Bob,’ and my current resident is ‘Jam Jam’
2/ Talk to (and about) your bump. Did you know your unborn baby is able to hear from (approximately) 16 weeks? They’re just in there, listening to everything you say, like tiny little eavesdroppers with the key to all your secrets. Talking directly to them, even if they aren’t yet in a position to answer, really helps to form that acknowledgement of their presence in your day to day life, as does talking about them. The conversations don’t have to be particularly deep, either. ‘Hello baby, how are you feeling this morning?’ when a kick comes in, for example, is enough. As is ‘what colour hair do you think he’ll have?’ when chatting about little one with your partner
3/ Write to (and about) your bump. For much the same reasons as above, writing to, and about, your baby, can build a bond through acknowledgement of the role they now play in your world. And it’ll be nice to look back on post pregnancy, too (and refer back to if you have another, to compare how similar/different the experience is!)
4/ Play music to your bump. Some studies suggest that playing certain types of music to your baby in utero will make him smarter. Unfortunately, while this is a nice idea, the notion has been largely debunked due to small sample sizes in the studies conducted. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play music to baba if you fancy a little dance and bond. Even if it has no long term impact on them developmentally, it’s fun to figure out which songs they do and don’t react to, as their most primitive tastes begin to develop. My first went wild when I watched Pitch Perfect, for example. My second really seems to like the sound of his brother crying. Which is… concerning
5/Read to your bump. A good one for anyone that can’t think of what to say to the rolling, bumping creature within, but that wants them to hear a familiar voice in moments of calm
6/ And read to yourself – any reading material that helps you envision life with baby will do the job. Becoming a mother is such a huge transition, I can’t even begin to explain. So taking a bit of time out in pregnancy to envision a life in which baby is in your arms, rather than in your womb, is paramount for laying the foundations needed to adjust well. And while nothing will truly prepare you for what is to come (it’s very much a learn on the job experience, being a mum) having a flick through some choice parenting books, and starting to make decisions that will shape the type of parent you are destined to be, can really help you to get into that ‘sweet baby cheeses I’m going to be a mummy’ zone
7/ Pay close attention to what makes baby move, and do more of it. Because being in tune with one another is beyond special, and you’ll only be pregnant with this baby once
8/ And consider going for a private ultrasound, if your budget allows. Honestly, I can’t recommend a 4D scan highly enough. Nothing takes you from ‘I’m pregnant’ to ‘I’M HAVING A BABY’ faster than seeing that baby’s face on screen, as they go about the business of becoming your child. This one is particularly great for dads, too, as they get to experience a lot less of the natural bonding that accompanies playing host to your offspring. Just wait and see how many people he shows that ultrasound image to, as he asks ‘do you think he looks like me? what about from this angle?’
9/ Decorate the nursery. People will tell you baby doesn’t ‘need’ a nursery at first. But this isn’t about baby. This is about preparing yourself mentally for having a baby, to whom that room will one day belong
10/ And make something for your little one to treasure. Crochet a blanket, paint a picture, make a little dummy holding dish out of clay… whatever craft calls your name, just do it. Even if the results are terrible, the thought process behind it is not, and that’s what truly matters
So there you have it! Ten fairly straightforward, mostly free ways to connect with the rumbly pumbly little bean that became a beanstalk in your belly.
Happy bonding, future mama, you got this ♡