Skin to skin is one of the most wonderful parts of parenthood out there. In fact, just last week as I was getting changed and I could hear P having a meltdown about something, I scooped her up, took off her top and we just held each other, skin to skin. It instantly took me back to those dreamy newborn days where I would hold her and feed her and smell her, and in turn, bond with her.
Skin to skin is really emphasised at the time of giving birth, no matter how that looks for you. It’s also easily done when breastfeeding. However, I want to share some tips on how you can get in that skin to skin without giving birth or breastfeeding.
Skin to skin has so many benefits. They include bonding, thermoregulation (body temperature control), the exchange of good bacteria and even helping to regulate blood sugars. Non-breastfeeding mothers, partners and relatives can absolutely partake in this too. Here are 5 ways:
Skin to skin whilst bottle-feeding
Feed your baby their bottle whilst holding them close. All caregivers can participate in this when appropriate.
Have a bath/shower with baby
My babies have both loved water from the day they were born, and having a shower or bath with them has always been a beautiful experience together.
Take off your shirt and put your baby in the carrier, whether it be a wrap or a more structured style carrier, the effect is the same. Skin on skin.
Kangaroo care/Contact naps
Get comfy with a good book or TV show (go for a wee first!) and then place baby on your bare chest. Wrap both of yourselves up in your top or dressing gown, and enjoy all that wonderful skin to skin whilst baby naps. This was one of my most favorite ways to hold P when she was a napping newborn. Oof, I can almost smell her little head from here.
Tummy time (on you!)
Your new baby can get their tummy time practice in on you, whilst you recline. Get comfy at a 45-degree angle (you may like to wear your dressing gown so your arms don’t get cold), and place baby on your chest. Two birds one stone!