Some people experience bonding with their child during the first few moments of life , or the first months of caring for them at home. I on the other hand did not. People describe bonding as an intense emotional connection that they feel with their kids. More than just loving them, a real sense of attachment that is deeply rooted in your heart.
When Ella was born, she was a very particular baby at bedtime. By particular, I mean I spent every night holding her in my arms, feeding her, rocking her, reading to her, until she fell asleep and I would have to gently stand up, and slowly lower her into her crib. Without fail, four nights out of five, the second my hand left her head she would wake and cry only to start the process all over again. In contrast, Pax has been super easy to put to bed. We give him a bottle, burp him, and Erica gives him some kisses and I lay him down in his crib, switch on the turtle lamp that plays soft lullabies and turn off the light. He’s good to go.
But I find that I’m missing something. I don’t feel as close to him as I want. I’m probably the only parent you have heard of who is complaining that his kid is easy to put to bed. But I think that some of the things I had to do with Ella helped me connect with her on a deeper emotional level. I will also say that it was really during our trip to Disney World this year that I felt Ella and I had bonded even more.
I feel very guilty about this, and so I turn to you for some help. Searching the internet has given me some tips , but I wonder if there are other people out there who also have experienced bonding at a later stage with their children? Here are some of the things I plan to do to help me bond with Pax:
Night time – a new nightly routine of rocking and reading books – I figure just because he is easy to put to bed, doesn’t mean I can’t keep him up a few extra minutes to spend some one on one time with him. Something else I’m going to try is to not read the same books I read with Ella, but to create a totally new experience with Pax. Sometimes I think the trouble with bonding with my second child is that everything I do with him reminds me of what I used to do with Ella. So instead of reading Pooh’s 1,2,3 I’m going to read a page or two from C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia at night. I’ll continue to do this until it is obvious that he is not interested. But I’ve heard of some dads who used to read the Sports section to their kids at night, and reading something that I love may make it a more special time to me…
Play time - some websites suggest teaching your child new things at this age. I felt like before Pax was pretty much just the baby blob that all kids are and that I really couldn’t have that much interaction with him. Now though he is really starting to light up when I sit down and play with him, I need to know HOW to play with him in a way that will make a difference. Some ideas I’m going to try next week are trying to teach him how to build a tower and then knock it down, try to make him imitate me.
Talk time – Something Pax has recently started doing is being able to have converstations with me. He’ll make a noise, I’ll repeat it. He absolutely loves this and we go back and forth making and imitating each other’s sounds.
Song time – I wrote a song for Ella when she was a baby, I think it’s time I wrote one for Pax, too. I want to encourage my children to love music as much as I do.
So those are my ideas, any thoughts? Anybody out there experience this, too?
here’s the follow up post ‘Only Child’ Night