Friday, July 26, 2013

Simple Steps

Lil princess came into our home, she turned it right side up.  Filling it full with pink giggles and slobbery raspberries.

Despite the utter cuteness,  we realized straight real, we had a road ahead of us.  Lil sweet pea had yet to attach to a caregiver.  So crazy thankful for those who have walked the road of foster or adoption before us and paved the way.

This momma, an admitted snuggle a holic, determined to help this precious bond to bless her life for always.  In our first short weeks, we have learned some simple steps to encourage bonding and are amazed at the results.

1.  Learn the signals.  Become a student of your child, no matter the age.  When are they hungry?  When do they need to sleep?  What makes them grumpy?  Watch for the signals.  Learn them.  Then respond ALWAYS.  This builds their trust in you, a vital block in the foundation of attachment.  (and throw out whatever anyone told you about your precious, learn for yourself as they might have missed the real cues)

2.  Snuggle Baths.  Skin to skin.  It's vital in bonding.  Having an older princess we got a bit creative.  One bath time, I slipped my swimsuit and jumped in.  Momma baths, the new norm.  LIl fish splashes and plays.  I snuggle, rub, and touch.  Bonus - seeing her cute chunky thighs makes me feel a bit better about mine.

3.  Baby Talk Back.   She coos.  She giggles.  She string syllables together.  And now so do I.  With each babble, momma babbles back.  The whole family has gotten in on the action.  We have had entire conversations based solely on raspberries and dadadadadadada.  We are engaging in her world, bonding on her level.

4.  Blue Eye Time.    I've fallen in love with her baby blues and its a blessing.  Eye contact remains a key in bonding.  Every chance I can, changing her diaper, feeding a bottle, picking her up from her nap ... I connect eye to eye.  I make it a point to intentionally look into her baby blues and smile.  At first, she gave me no eye contact back.  Little by little she is connecting.  Thinking there must be a link straight from the eye to the heart.

5.  Rub.  Tickle.  Scratch.  We all know touch is crucial to bonding.  But what touch does sweet princess enjoy the most.  Discover it.  Does your little one like to be massaged?  Or does she prefer a light tickle on her skin?  My 8 year old son drools when I scratch his head.  Each child is different and might not be the same as you.  So, take the time to figure out what type of touch they like best.  (and of course give them tons)

We have just begun our journey to help this precious princess attach.  You would crazy bless me (and her) to share your tips, your ideas, your what worked with you.   Would you take a moment to share with us something that helped you bond with the children in your life?


Joy said...

Hi! Thanks for the visit! LOVE the work you are doing through foster care. Email me anytime with questions, etc...

grtlyblesd said...

Best wishes on your fosterhood journey! We "hosted" with Safe Families (think church run foster care) while we waited for our littles to come home. It's an amazing magnifier of our own weaknesses, isn't it?

I'm following, and hopefully will have something to link up on Tuesday! :)

Denise said...

You are a gift to this world.

good+growing said...

Thanks for the visit! This post made my heart so happy - I love that you are working so fervently at attachment. You are right, it is SO crucial to work at bonding, no matter how long a little might be in your life. Bonding facilitates bonding. And you are doing many amazing things! I would add that for us, baby wearing has been beautiful. I wore my sweeties whenever I could - running errands, going for a walk, doing the dishes, etc. It gave them all that extra time that might usually have been spend in a carrier or a stroller or a swing right up against my chest, hearing my heartbeat and breath. And bonus, I had free hands when I needed them to corral my other littles. :) Such good stuff. Keep on mama, so excited to explore your blog & see where this journey takes you! Feel free to email me at goodandhardy(at)gmail(dot)com. Hugs! -Jess

Anonymous said...

Best wishes with your bonding!

Melanie said...

God bless you with what you do! That precious princess will be forever changed by your love.

The Youngs @ the crazy house said...

Sarah, thanks for stopping by our blog. Our attachment journey has some differences, since our boys are older (8 and 9), but we've seen the main things are do what you say, and keep loving. For you, that means just what you said, find out what her signals are and respond to them immediately. You are communicating that you will always provide for her needs and keep her safe. For loving and physical touch, we started small and worked up to lots of hugs and kisses based on their comfort level. We made sure to touch their arm when we talked to them or rub their head as we walk by. When they start to trust our word and our love, they start to attach.