How to Connect with Your Newborn

Basic training.


You've nailed the diaper changes, have become a bathing wizard and possess soothing skills that Supernanny would envy. But do you know how to just be with your baby? "Consider the relationship with your infant a dance and let her lead," says Jane Weilenman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Savannah, Ga. "Look at what makes her happy, what makes her fussy and what encourages her to respond." Here are several suggestions:

Read or sing: Don't try to educate; just let your baby enjoy your attention and the sound of your voice. "The words don't matter," says Weilenman. In fact, you can make up your own songs and stories.

Make eye contact: Babies are fascinated by faces. Give your little one a chance to study yours while you gaze at hers.

Touch and hold: "Gently touch her skin as often as possible," suggests Weilenman. We have more gadgets for not holding our children— swings, bouncy seats, etc.—than any society I know of. We need to hold our children more.