Bonding and attachment: Finding your way with your baby

The following websites contain further information on getting to know your baby:

The Association for Infant Mental Health UK believe that parents and infants deserve to be supported in developing bonding and attachment. The website has a range of videos and literature to show parents how to respond to a baby in a way that supports emotional wellbeing.

Learning what your newborn is saying – Right from birth and well before your baby speaks their first words, they are communicating with you through their behaviour. This communication can be as clear as a good loud cry or as subtle as a slight movement of their eyebrow. Think of all your baby’s movements, expressions and responses as phrases they use to communicate with you – the unspoken words of their first language. Watch for, observe and interpret the meaning of your baby’s signals and cues and you will soon become familiar with what they are saying and get to know them very well.

UNICEF Building a Happy Baby leaflet – We now know that building a strong relationship between parents and their new baby will give them the best possible start in life, and will help them to grow up happy and confident. This leaflet, which is free to download, helps parents to develop that strong relationship, starting in pregnancy and continuing into the early days, weeks and months of a baby’s life.

Newborns and social understanding – It’s amazing to watch our babies learn social skills, smile and interact. This webpage looks at the stages of social development and how parents can encourage their baby at each step.

Tiny Happy People is here to help you develop your child’s communication skills from during pregnancy and onwards. Explore simple activities and find out about their amazing early development. There are lots of short video clips on activities to do with baby either while pregnant or once baby has arrived.

NHS ResourcesAs your baby gets older your play time together will involve more complex activity and may include toys.

Getting it right from the Start: Tameside and Glossop Early Attachment Service developed a film on attachment and bonding for new parents. There are 10 chapters – the videos can be found linked below:

Chapter 1: Attachment and Bonding:

Chapter 2: Importance of developing a relationship with your baby.

Chapter 3: What can you do to help build a relationship with your baby

Chapter 4: Learning more about your baby (Baby states):

Chapter 5: Soothing a crying baby

Chapter 6: Playing and talking with your baby:

Chapter 7: Baby time out signs:

Chapter 8: Feeding your baby:

Chapter 9: Coping when things are difficult:

Chapter 10: Having a sick baby:

For a Sylheti translation of this resource, please visit our Translations page.

The Institute for Health Visiting has a website with factsheets about a range of issues for the early years of your child’s life.

Out of the Blue videos – The changes experienced during pregnancy and parenthood can be difficult – some people struggle with emotional issues as well as physical symptoms. These can vary from very mild to very serious. Out of the Blue is a series of videos that was designed to address and support parents who may be experiencing a wide range of mental health problems: from generalised low mood and anxiety to severe depression and postpartum psychosis.

Letter to you from your baby – A great letter written from the perspective of your baby which may help guide your journey together.

Recommended books

Recommended books for parents to be:

Finding your way with your baby: the emotional life of parents and babies, by Dilys Daws and Alexandra de Rementeria (2015).

Understanding your baby by Sophie Boswell, The Tavistick Clinic, (2004)

Books to read to your baby:

On the night you were born by Nancy Tillman

Me, by Emma Dodd

Forever, by Emma Dodd

Wish, by Emma Dodd

For Dads and Partners:

Dad Matters – Tameside based organisation to support dads with their mental health and parent infant relationships. Offer web based and 1:1 support. In conjunction with Homestart Tameside and Glossop and the Tameside Early Attachment Service. Dad matters have created a range of videos about a father’s experience of getting ready for and adjusting to parenthood – check out their YouTube channel.

Commando Dad is a website full of information and advice created for new dads and is also available in a book form.

Proud 2 be Parents Support for LGBT parents and their children, and LGBT parents to be, across Greater Manchester.

Apps for parents:

The Baby Buddy app guides you through your pregnancy and the first 6 months following your baby’s birth. It is designed to help you look after your baby’s mental and physical health, as well as your own, and give your baby the best start in life.

Easy Peasy App: Fun and games that are proven to help children’s development – from birth to 5 years-old.

Vroom App. During the first five years of life the brain develops most rapidly and the things that matter most for healthy brain development, like talking and playing, don’t require more time, money, or stuff. Vroom provides science-based tips and tools to inspire families to turn shared, everyday moments into Brain Building Moments®.

The Dad pad is a useful app full of helpful practical tips for new dads. Further information can be found at

Peppy App If you are employed, you may want to view the Peppy App which allows employees to register (via a subscription) to connect with an expert practitioner through your smartphone. Any question, any time.

Mush App free to download app that helps you make and find friends who live nearby with kids the same age, arrange meetups, get advice from parenting experts and fellow mums on the topics keeping them awake at night and join chat groups based on everything from their due date to their love of reality TV.

Services to help you:

If you are worried about bonding with your baby, there are services across Greater Manchester, that specialise in supporting you and your baby and your relationship.

If you are worried about your mental health, there are services across Greater Manchester that can support you.