Saying “hello” to your baby can start today – you don’t have to wait until your baby is born. You can start bonding with your little one even during pregnancy.
Your baby’s journey & their connection to you
From 0-16 weeks – If you stroke your bump, your baby will feel those vibrations. From 16 weeks, your baby may be receptive to your voice.
At around 18 weeks – Your baby will begin to hear your heartbeat and the gurgling of your stomach.
From 20-24 weeks – Babies can recognise deeper tones, for example, their father’s voice.
From 24-40 weeks – Your baby will continue to listen to sounds coming from inside as well outside your body. At around 26 weeks, your baby may move when you rub your bump.
Ways to bond with your baby during pregnancy
Tips for you to bond with the baby
Here are a few tips to help you bond with your little one before they come into the world:
- Talk to your bump
- Don’t feel silly about talking to the bump.
- You can talk about anything, like how your day is going, or share a story.
- Your baby will recognize your voice when they are born.
- Sing to your baby
- It doesn’t matter what song you sing – if you like it, so will your baby. Lullabies could be a great way to start.
- Play music to your baby
- You can play any music that you like - gentle sounds like lullabies, lovely melodies are considered soothing.
- Never put headphones on your tummy, as it can be too loud for your baby.
- Your baby may recognise the music you listen to in pregnancy when they are born.
- Stroke your bump
- Gently rub and massage your tummy.
- Respond to your baby’s kick by gently rubbing your tummy where the kick occurred.
- Read to your baby
- You can read from your favourite childhood books.
- Write a diary or stories to the baby about what you are experiencing.
Tips for dads to bond with the baby
Soon-to-be dads can:
- Massage your baby bump.
- Feel the baby’s kick whenever possible.
- Attend ultrasound appointments and prenatal classes.
- Read and talk to the baby.
Ways in which older siblings can bond with the baby
Older siblings can:
- Touch your belly to feel the baby kicking.
- Help you shop for baby supplies.
- Help you set up the nursery.
- Prepare a gift for the baby/prepare a piece of art to put in the baby’s room.
- Healthdirect Australia. Pregnancy, baby, and birth. Bonding with your baby during pregnancy [Internet]. Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/bonding-with-your-baby-during-pregnancy. Accessed on Aug 27, 2020.
- Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust. Pregnancy and life with your baby [Internet]. Available at: https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/our-services/maternity/pregnancy-and-life-with-your-baby.pdf. Accessed on Aug 27, 2020.
- NHS Inform-Ready Steady Baby! Attachment and bonding during pregnancy [Internet]. Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/ready-steady-baby/pregnancy/relationships-and-wellbeing-in-pregnancy/attachment-and-bonding-during-pregnancy. Accessed on Aug 27, 2020.
- Toronto Public Health. Making connections you and your growing baby [Internet]. Available at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/healthychild/healthybaby/hb_makingconnectionsA.pdf. Accessed on Aug 27, 2020.