The Power of Smell and Touch for Your Baby

When I gave birth to my son – nearly a decade ago! – I couldn’t touch or hold him right away like what has been suggested by experts.

There was no immediate bonding experience as he was whisked away to NICU from being born 5 weeks early and needed assistant in breathing. I laid there helplessly as I worried sick about how he was doing as the nurse and doctor worked to put me back together after an emergency c-section.

I had a severe preelampsia during my pregnancy.

I was only able to saw him well after midnight from my hospital bed that was taken into the NICU by nurses. I could only touch his little hand while fighting back tears.

Took 3 long excruciatingly painful days until I was able to finally hold him in my arms.

We had a late start on the bonding thing but we quickly picked it up.

The Power of Smell and Touch for Your Baby

the power of smell and touch

I was so scared to give my premature baby a bath at first. He was so tiny when he finally got to come home with me after a week in the hospital. It was my ex husband who bravely gave the first bath as I watched carefully from the side.

As I got to feel more comfortable in giving him a bath, it became our little daily ritual. It was beautiful!

He would get a little massage from me which he love as it relaxes him and prepared him for bed time. I still remember the lovely smell of minyak telon. Minyak telon is traditional Indonesian aromatic oil that is frequently used to moisturize babies’ bodies and help prevent gassiness, fussiness, and colic. It also keeps the body rather warm. It has gentler smell than wintergreen oil or eucalyptus oil.

I guess maybe that’s why he loves massages until this very day. Almost a decade later hah!

I didn’t realize how important it is for the baby’s development. It goes far beyond bonding with babies. Take a look at this amazing infographic! Fascinating isn’t it?

The power of smell and touch

Click for full size

5 Tips on Creating More Bonding Experience

  • Cuddles and lots of cuddles! After all, cuddling with your baby is one of the best thing in life!
  • Set aside some times during the day. For example: make bath time your special moment. After bath time give your baby a gentle massage that will help them relax.
  • Sing to your baby. Baby loves their mother’s voice and can recognize it instantly.
  • Wear your baby. Baby wearing brings mom and baby so much closer because of the skin to skin contact. Invest in great and safe baby carrier/sling.
  • Get the father involved! This will create a sense of bonding between the two of them and you will get that much needed mom break.

Those precious moments with the baby will be something you will miss once they get bigger and more independent. I sure do miss the peaceful feelings of having a baby.

How about you? Do you have a special bonding rituals for you and your baby/child?

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Maureen

Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

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10 Comments

  1. October 10, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    Ritual? hmm sing together, uwel-uwelan…uuh I miss my babies…they are big babies now

  2. October 10, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    I always bonded right away with my babies and I would sing to them and cuddle with them. I sing off key, but thankfully, babies don’t care. 🙂

  3. October 10, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    Being in their presence and letting them feel it creates a really good bond. Even before words, the instinct of caring can be developed.

  4. October 10, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    That must been a terrifying experience. I was looking enough to be able to bond with my son after a few minutes. I agree that touch and smell so important. It helps the bond get so much stronger.

  5. October 10, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    I bonded well with all my girls. They loved being held and touched. It’s so important to for them to be touched and loved.

  6. October 11, 2016 / 9:31 pm

    I have never thought about the sense of smell developing. This is really interesting! What a great post!

  7. October 12, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    I have no baby yet and I am trying to get pregnant. But I know how exactly how it feels to be separated for a while with your born child. B=Glad to hear that you and your baby are safe and in good health .

  8. October 14, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    The power of smell and touch of a mother to her child is really amazing! It goes a long way from birth to adulthood. Great infographic!

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