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Bonding with Baby

1. Breastfeed your baby. It's not just about nutrition—when your little one snuggles up against you to nurse, he hears your heartbeat, smells your scent, is reassured by skin-to-skin contact.

2. Look into the baby's eyes during bottle time. You want to get credit for all those feedings, right?! Keeping eye contact will help your baby remember who you are and what you mean to her.

3. Give her a massage. The benefits of baby massage are staggering, and you'll feel like a superhero as she giggles and coos in delight.

4. Put your phone away. Right now, your family, friends, and co-workers will understand if it takes you a few hours to respond to a text. Take advantage by giving all that extra time to your little one.

5. Look in the mirror together. He doesn't yet understand the concept of a reflection, but that's OK. Babies love looking at human faces and this is a great way to get him up close and personal with his own.

6. Listen to her heartbeat. Remember how excited you got to hear that sweet sound during sonograms? It can now be music to your ears whenever you want.

7. Sleep when he sleeps. Do not—we repeat, do not—feel guilty for hitting the sack at 7 p.m. A well-rested parent is a happy parent, and your baby will benefit most from that.

8. Do something sweet for your partner. Whether you realize it or not, your baby is picking up on the bond his parents share. Strengthen it by making a special dinner or taking the time to watch a movie together...just like old times!

9. Don't stress the milestones. It's tempting to scour the internet for info on when certain things will happen, but all babies develop at their own pace. If you keep looking ahead to the future, you'll miss out on the now!

10. Go skin-to-skin. You may have carried her in your belly for nine months, and chances are you're both missing that constant physical connection. Kangaroo care is a sweet—and practical—activity since it helps regulate the baby's breathing and heart rate.