Did you mommas find that the first few weeks of your pregnancy felt oddly surreal? As pumped as I was to be pregnant, I had a hard time grasping the reality of it until that first ultrasound & it got super real when I started showing! When we found out that not only was their a little soul inside of me, but that he was a little boy, I felt like we had been literally introduced. We named him & saw that his profile kind of looked like ours. I couldn’t wait to get to know him. I found myself doing these things & once he was born I realized that we had already bonded. That baby is getting to know your voice, your smell, your way of walking. Baby bonding is a real thing & hopefully these things can help your pregnancy be even sweeter!
1. Make them something. We all had that special blankie when we were small. The one we secretly took to college. My Dog & Clown Bankie was handmade & had to be revised quite a few times from all the use. I wanted my son to have something like that, so I crocheted a blanket! It took FOREVER, but I couldn’t help but think of his tiny self wrapped up in it, then his toddler self cuddling with it, & finally his college bag packed with this blanket tucked underneath his clothes. With my luck, he won’t be the type of baby to bond with a blanket, but I bonded with him each time I sat down with my hook & yarn! What skills do you have that can be used to make your little one something special?
2. Dedicate a verse to them & surround their space with it. Before I was even pregnant, I journaled about the names I would give my babies, lessons I wanted to teach them, & verses I wanted to dedicate to them. Because of J’s love of the water & our proximity to the ocean, we chose a nautical theme for his nursery. The verse we kept in mind for Baby J was Hebrews 6.19. We found a wall hanging with this verse & placed anchors around his room. I found that this intentionality gave meaning to even the smallest parts of his nursery. When I brought him home, amongst all the distractions, I thought of God’s promises each time I looked at an anchor…which was a lot!
3. Sing to them over & over. When I hear certain hymns, I think of my grandma. There are silly kid songs that remind me of my mom. And then there are the folksy 70s rock songs that my dad played on his guitar that will always make me think of him. Did you know that babies can begin to learn your voice around 18 weeks in your womb? Around that time I began singing to Baby J on my morning drive to work. I fell in love with some Christian folk singers that sang about their babies & their husbands. I feel like these songs helped me cherish my pregnancy even more. I pictured my son in my arms each time I awkwardly sang out loud to myself in the car. These songs became second nature & the day my son was born I sang him our songs, the ones we had been practicing every morning. Maybe they will one day be sweet memories for him, too!
“Red are the rosiest cheeks I have seen, orange is the sunset that lulls you to sleep, yellow the birds that are folding their wings for the night…” – Sunshine, JJ Heller
4. Do their laundry. Does this sound silly? Let me explain. After our baby showers, I washed all his clothes, blankets, etc. so they would be ready to use at a moment’s notice when we brought him home. As I sat on the couch surrounded by a mountain of J’s clothes on one side & a large hill of Baby J’s clothes on the other, I started crying. By that time my husband was used to the pregnancy cries & sweetly asked if I was ok. I explained that doing his laundry made me feel like a mom. Me! I get to do this little boy’s laundry for the rest of my life! (Remember, pregnancy hormones…) J joked about how I might be crying for a different reason in a few months when the laundry is piled up like that, but I didn’t care. I heard once that the laundry becomes less mundane when you pray for the wearer of the clothes as you fold. So I prayed for my son & couldn’t believe he would one day fit in that cute 6 month onesie…
5. Write them a letter. Letter writing has been a kind of tradition for J & I since we were dating. When I was pregnant I began writing Baby J letters. I told him how excited we were & that I was trying not to be impatient as he was making us wait. I told him I couldn’t wait for his nursery to never be this neat again. Writing a letter makes you slow down. There is always more to say than you thought there was. I don’t know when Baby J will ever read these letters, but I hope they mean as much to him as they do to me.
“Often, what we scribble leads us to discover what lies in the recesses of our heart & mind. And after getting it down on paper, we’re left feeling more grounded – & frequently, more gratified.” – Joanna Gaines
How did you bond with your baby? I would love to hear your stories!