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How do you stay bonded to your baby?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a 5 month old daughter. I work at home and have a live-in nanny. It is a pretty good arrangement, really. I see my baby throughout the day. But I'm still apart from her 6-8 hours a day. When she was first born, I felt such a strong bond to her. I cried when I had to leave her to work - even though it was in the next room! Now I don't cry anymore. I'm afraid my bond is diminishing. I sleep with her and breastfeed and play with her as much as possible. But I'm sad that the first strong bond I felt is not as strong anymore. I would love to hear how you work and stay bonded to your babies. Or if you feel the same way, too. I'd love to hear how you are coping.
post #2 of 8
Bf'ing is keeping my bond with my son strong for me. He is almost 9 mo., and I pump for him at work. So, I feel like I am doing something for him that no one else can, even if I am at work!
post #3 of 8

second that...

Breastfeeding is the biggie for me, too. I went back to work when dd#2 was about 4 mos. old, and coincidentally, a co-worker of mine was coming back about the same time, who's baby was about 5 mos. She weaned her ds before she came back. As she was telling me about it, I got such a knot in my stomach, I could hardly stand it. I realized then and there that no matter how hard it was (and at times it's really hard...), I was going to keep nursing/pumping as long as dd#2 wanted, because the idea of forcibly weaning her was just too abhorrant to me.

Co-sleeping is the other, and I have to admit, we are doing less of that this time--this kid just doesn't seem to need it as much. She sleeps through the night more often than our first daughter ever did at this age. If she does wake, we bring her in with us, but if she doesn't, we don't (although that is wreaking havoc with my milk production, so we may have to re-think the situation...)

FWIW, I don't think your bond is diminishing, so much as you are getting used to being back to work. Don't mistake the fact that you don't cry anymore for less of a bond.

Mia
post #4 of 8
How do I bond? I hold and play w/ dd when I wake up to get ready for work. I speak to her on the phone throughout the day (DH is SAHD). He even brings her to work on occasion duing my lunch break. I hold dd when I get home (w/ the help of a sling). And we co-sleep. During the weekend I have dd w/ me where ever I go. I just can't get enough of her She is 9 mos today.

Jenni and Helon 6/29/02
post #5 of 8
Definitely don't mistake feeling comfortable being back at work with lack of bonding with the baby! It's a really healthy thing, not to be crying every morning


Breastfeeding and cosleeping, I think, are the two biggest things in helping maintain a tight bond..... it also helps in the transition. I'm thinking work work work and I pick ds up and he jumps in my arms.... I proceed to rub his caregiver's scent off of him by excessive cuddling ( ... anyone else do this?), and eventually he tackles me for a good half hour nursing session (ds is 2 1/2). After that. I have no idea where I even work!!

A lot of times, AP seems contradictory to working.... but it's not. It's just twice as important.
post #6 of 8
I also agree that breastfeeding (and cosleeping for us) has helped keep the bond. I was actually feeling quite the opposite when I first went to work. I secretly wasn't sure that DS and I had the same tight bond that other moms have with their babies. In hindsight, it was all just insecurity - especially as I increased my hours away from him, as some of your emotions probably are as well. As others have said, don't confuse the fact that you are getting more comfortable with your working situation with losing the bond with your baby.

Another thought. She's also at that age where she is discovering the world outside of herself (and her mama). I remember DS at that age and as he transitioned from helpless newborn to a more independent soul, it was a little disconcerting for me. Have no worries....The bottom line is that mama rules and always will.
post #7 of 8
Add me to the breastfeeding/co-sleeping group! Both have helped me to stay bonded to dd. She's 14 1/2 months now, and I am wondering how it will be when she weans herself. Hopefully I will be working part-time by then. I also think it helps if I plan out activities for us to do ahead of time, such as Gymboree or wiggleworms. That's something that just the 2 of us do. I also make a policy of not leaving her at all when I am at home. I figure that if I have to be away from her during work, I don't wat to lose any time while I'm home. She comes everywhere with me. Oh, when she was younger, making her own baby food was a big bonding thing too. I still do it, but now she pretty much eats whatever we have.

Libby
post #8 of 8
One more vote for breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Our dd is 5 now and she stil sleeps with us, no plans of ever using her own room.

She is at on-site day care, so I not away from her for 8 hours straight, but like you, even though it was in the next room, I was still sad many times. I never leave her in there if she doesn't want to be there, I just make up for the hous in the middle of the night (like right now I am taking a break from a 3 a.m to 7 a.m. project).

I am also physically attached to her the other 16 hours or more per day and 64 hours on the weekends. Yesterday, for example, she and I had a long lunch and although she is already five, she sat on my lap the whole time. I also carry her alot and so does her daddy. Of course she also runs and jumps and plays. I do work out, but I go to work out in the middle of the night at a 24-hour fitnes.

I had a live in nanny once when I had a little 4.5 month old foster baby. But outside of working hours, I never let her have the baby. She cooked and cleaned and did laundry during those hours. She went to sleep and got a full night's sleep while I got up at night to change diapers and to bottle feed him.

Good luck.
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