This post has been sponsored by Dreft® Newborn.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A couple months back when I was trying to figure out how to wean Ava from breastfeeding, there were a couple of things I was terrified about. I was ready to stop - I was so ready - but the biggest thing that made weaning take so long was that I felt like once it was done, my bonding with Ava would be gone.
What if she no longer snuggled with me?
What if she stopped coming to me for comfort?
What if I couldn’t find another way to comfort her?
So many questions and so many fears. But as soon as we completely weaned and breastfeeding was done, I learned very quickly that there are so many ways to bond with your toddler, even when breastfeeding is done. So if you’re a mom and you’re scared to wean your baby (or toddler) and want a little weaning encouragement or if you’re a mom who is unable to breastfeed and want to be encouraged and reminded of all of the ways you can bond with your baby outside of breastfeeding, I’ve put together a list.
7 Ways to bond with your baby or toddler
1. Look into their eyes
Whether you’re sitting on the couch snuggling or playing together, looking into their eyes shows them that you’re there and you’re present.
2. Take in their smell
You know how everyone says they love the smell of babies? Well we all have our own smell and even as a toddler, soaking in the precious scent is such an amazing way to bond. And of course, the laundry detergent you use for your babies and toddlers plays a huge role in that bonding experience. Dreft® Stage 1: Newborn is made exclusively for baby’s skin, plant-based, hypoallergenic and is free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates, ethanolamine and optical brighteners. Oh yeah, and it can be found in all major retailers, online and better yet, on Amazon, a mom’s favorite place to shop (at least mine, that is).
Exclusively made for babies and the #1 pediatrician recommended baby detergent, Dreft Newborn is an essential baby care item and plays a key role in bonding with your baby. According to a recent study, 8 out of 10 moms feel using Dreft Newborn helps them feel more bonded with their baby! The smell makes me reminiscent of Ava’s infant days, but helps instill that strong mother-daughter bond as she advances into her toddler years, too! Click here to buy Dreft Newborn on Amazon today!
3. Put your phone away
Similar to #1, putting your phone down and out of sight shows your kids that you are there for them and only them, creating a trust and a bond that is forever. It’s showing them that you put them first and foremost in your life, not your little device.
4. Look into the mirror together
Ever since Ava was a baby, we have this tradition of looking into the mirror together after every single shower. We bundle up in our towels, she puts her head on my shoulder and I carry her to the mirror right outside of the bathroom. When we get there, she peeks her little eyes out from under the hood of her towel and we both smile and giggle and it’s just a beautiful moment we get to have every single day.
5. Make something “your thing”
Whether it’s a special routine or the post shower routine Ava and I have together, do something every single day that the two of you know you’ll always do together, every single day -- reading before nap time, giggling together before bed, playing peekaboo through the crib before it’s time for a nap. Whatever it may be, make it special and just for the two of you.
6. Skin to Skin
You know, I can’t remember the last time I’ve done skin to skin with Ava and now that I think about it, why not? Skin to skin with a toddler could be such a bonding experience even at this age.
7. Tickling + Giggling
….or really anything that makes you both laugh and smile together. I don’t know about you, but in my eyes there’s nothing more perfect that true, authentic belly laughing with my baby.
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