There’s something about babies that melts even the most cynical of hearts. They’re so small and cute, and they make little squeaky noises – aren’t they just the darndest thing?! Bonding with your baby at a young age is very important because it helps in their growth and development, and helps them to understand what love and affection are, as well as why they matter.
There are a fair few ways to bond with your baby, including holding it, feeding it, and being attentive when it cries. But, one of the big ones and one that we hugely take for granted is the importance of eye contact. Now, eye contact is important in the adult world during conversation, but it is also essential in helping develop that bond between parent and baby, especially as your baby probably can’t talk yet.
Getting in sync
Well, one of the best things about eye contact, as studies tell us, is that it improves and strengthens the bond between you and your baby. Eye contact puts the brains in sync with one another, and this is essential for improving communication, learning, and understanding. It’s clear that this plays a profound effect in helping your baby grow and learn. If you were looking for some of the best ways of bonding with your baby, eye contact would make the top three.
The University of Cambridge carried out a study to monitor the brainwaves in infants and experimented with different forms of eye contact. It turns out that, according to science, the majority of babies responded positively to side-on eye contact. This is perhaps because it feels more personal, and therefore the bond is stronger. It is more deliberate and signals to the infant that the adult wants to engage them.
Eye contact better than vocalization
We all know the power of vocalizing things to kids. Singing nursery rhymes is thought to be one of the best ways of eliciting a positive emotional response from babies. But, incredibly, eye contact is much more powerful than any kind of talking or singing could ever be. It’s actually much more important than we thought, because babies aren’t only syncing brainwaves when they see something familiar, but also when they feel there’s an urge to communicate.
It’s clear that this represents the first real form infants have of communication, besides crying. As crying is distressing, it’s usually reserved for when they need something but can’t articulate it. But, we must never underestimate the appeal and importance of eye contact when helping babies to grow into fully rounded children. This early step is a vital part of the process and can do a lot to help you bond correctly with your baby.
Being a parent is not easy, no one is suggesting it is, but, there are things you can do to make it a little easier. By bonding fully with your baby from an early age, you imprint that familial and parental bond. Studies have proven how important it is for us to have eye contact with our children on a regular basis, so make sure you are doing this as much as you can.