It’s Valentines month and that always gets me thinking about love. On the 14th February, 24 years ago, I fell in love. I had known my husband for 6 years as friends and not once felt a tug on the heartstrings until one day I saw him in a different light – seriously it was like a thunderbolt hit me and I fell 100% madly in love.

How was it for you? Love at fist sight? A slow gradual appreciation of that person or a mind numbingly drastic moment of falling in love much later, like I did?

Goes to show… Falling in love is different for everyone. And bonding with your baby is exactly the same. I have known moms to express concern that they are ‘feeling nothing’ or that the hard slog of parenting is stopping them from loving being a mom. Other moms have obsessively fallen head over heels, from the moment of seeing that first scan. It’s different for everyone.

The science of falling is love is interesting:

A. Some people fall in love with the idea of falling in love – these are the moms who have dreamt of being a mom, planned a family and maybe tried to fall pregnant for ages. Bonding happens for these moms early in pregnancy.

B. Hormones and chemistry also plays a role in falling in love! The hormone that affects bonding is Oxytocin. It’s the love hormone. This hormone is released when you cuddle and orgasm but also when you give birth and when you breastfeed. It stands to reason then, that many moms fall in love around the time of birth. Breastfeeding and holding your baby can certainly have an effect here.

C. For many, love develops over time. As each new day brings a greater awareness of this special person, and as you learn to trust each other and yourself, you fall in love. Bonding can be like this – a slow and gradual growing to love your baby.

Bonding is to motherhood, what love is to marriage – it can happen in a flash or it can take time. But rest assured that this is the love affair of your life!

Bonding and your baby’s sense of touch – baby care tips from Pampers:

A baby’s skin is an important part of a baby’s emotional, cognitive and physical development which is why it needs to be protected

• Every parent intuitively wants to surround their baby with soft materials, but researchers have confirmed what parents have always known – babies are like Little Connoisseurs of Softness, showing preference for soft textures that touch their skin
• According to experts, babies learn most about the world through the skin. It’s a pathway to the precious bond you share but it is also the most essential element of social, emotional, health and brain development. In effect, touch is a hugely important stepping stone towards fulfilling your baby’s developmental potential
• Babies skin has to be perfectly protected to enjoy these loving moments to the fullest. In a diaper, perfect skin protection means great softness & dryness

Visit Pampers South Africa’s Facebook page for more baby care tips and advice.