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Getting to Know Baby Before Birth

Katlyn Joy | 8, April 2014


Waiting nine long months, at least, to meet your belly's resident is a very long time. You get the ultrasound images, maybe even are lucky enough to catch a kick or some thumbsucking or stretching while the sonographer chases down the baby. But there is more you can do to become acquainted with your child.

When I was pregnant with my first, I developed a notion of her personality. She was active but not overly so, but there was a nightly encounter that gave me a glimpse of her future self. Each night when I settled into bed, late in my pregnancy, I'd prop a book on my prominent belly. At that point, she would wildly protest by kicking over and over, or was it smacking? Again and again it would happen until I would finally move the book. A strong willed child I declared. And the prophecy came true. She is 19 now and has a strong opinion and a tenacious will.

In my second pregnancy, there were no such battles of wills brewing. Instead, this pregnancy was decidedly mellow. Towards the end, the big concern was that the baby was largish and lying transverse, as if chilling in a hammock. This perception has held up just as well, as my son has been and still is a reserved, mellow fellow.

My youngest child was a very active baby in utero. I always imagined her kicks like soccer kicks and when I had an intense long sonogram, I got to witness her kicking the stuffing out of me. It was just as I had imagined. She is a very active and physical little girl to this day.

Now many will tell you, my perceptions were most likely just broad, and lucky guesses. Possibly that's true. But I am reluctant to ever tell a mother what she does or doesn't know about her own children.

Besides taking notes on patterns of activities, there are other ways to feel close to your unborn baby. Call it getting acquainted or bonding or whatever you will, but these activities will help you get ready for the big moment when baby is finally here.

How to Bond With Your Baby During Pregnancy

1. Read to baby

Get some classic baby board books and read to baby every night. This is a wonderful habit to begin and baby can hear your voice. She will learn to recognize the patterns of your language, note the rise and fall of your voice. The story may even seem familiar to the baby after birth.

2. Listen to music with baby.

Share with baby some cool jazz or funky reggae or whatever music permeates your family home. You can put an earphone on your belly and jam together. Of course, you need not crank it up. You want to start the habit of protecting baby's hearing.

3. Sing to baby.

Closely related to the above tip is singing. Singing to baby is a great way to bond easily. Choose songs you can imagine singing late during tearful nights.

4. Call him or her by name.

If you are certain, and I mean certain, of baby's sex, settling on a name can be a great way to bond with baby. You can cease with all the "baby" talk and speak specifically about your child, calling him or her by name. It may seem simple but it can make everything seem more real.

5. Establish a semblance of a nighttime ritual now.

Will you bathe baby, sing and rock baby to a sleepy stage, have a last feeding then tuck him in? Come close to replicating that routine now. Take your bath, sit in the rocking chair and sing a lullaby before having a late night (healthy) snack. Some researchers believe we help determine baby's sleep and wake stages in our final weeks of pregnancy.

6. Write letters to your unborn child.

This communication and thoughtful contemplation about baby builds a spiritual bridge. You are focusing on things you believe are important to know or tell baby. You are sharing from your heart. This can lead to a heightened sense of connection before baby even arrives.

7. Have quiet moments.

Use this quiet time to visualize baby after birth. Imagine what baby will look like, sound like, smell like and feel like in your arms. Pray for baby if that is your background, or meditate on an image you associate with baby. Having this quiet time to be serene and positive can help you feel more in tune with your baby even before birth.

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