One of the major fears gay parents face is whether they will bond or connect with their newborn, but most intended parents don’t realize that this is a very common worry amongst all types of parents. Here are some helpful tips and ideas to help gay parents bond with their newborn baby:
- Before your newborn arrives, it is best to join a support group or a network with other gay parents that have tried surrogacy. The more you are able to talk through your fears, learn suggestions and hear stories from other parents, the more you will be prepared and have reasonable expectations of the initial months with your newborn. Reading books on parenting and watching DVDs or TV programs will help you feel ready when your newborn is placed in your arms.
- Once your newborn arrives, it is best to focus on nurturing and meeting the baby’s needs. This is one of the main ways that parents and children bond to each other. You and your partner need to pay close attention to the nurturing tasks you are doing for your newborn, like feeding, changing, dressing and holding. By coming to your child when called and when you are needed, you will build trust and a feeling of safety which is at the basis of bonding. Responding to your baby’s cries or perceived “neediness” with consistency, love, and gentleness will let them slowly know that you are the parent and you can be depended on. For babies, dependency is a good thing.
- Talk to your newborn. Language is a key element of connection and will help your baby in his development. Even with a newborn, it is important to talk and sing and coo and use your voice to share information and emotion. You can talk while you are doing care-taking tasks, talk about what you’re doing, and talk while you’re taking a walk. Even though you may think your child doesn’t understand you, you are conveying attachment and sharing information when you talk to him or her.
- Play. Play is one of the joys of both parenthood and childhood. Before you know it, your newborn will be in the terrible teens and you will miss the days when you were his or her favorite playmate. For infants and babies, traditional games like peek-a-boo and singing games are wonderful ways to interact and bond, as well as teach your baby.
- Touch. This may seem like a no-brainer, but touch is a key element in attachment and bonding. With an infant or baby, you will be holding your child to feed, rock, and comfort. A thousand words of comfort and security can easily be conveyed to your newborn through touch.
These are just some of the simple ways gay parents can bond with their newborn. By learning all the important skills new parents need to care and nurture for their child, you can easily build a lasting bond with your newborn baby.