The pressure a new parent feels is the heaviest weight in the universe. I always found myself imagining each parent holding a world-sized baby basket above their shoulders like the Greek god, Atlas. Among new parent fears, a lack of bonding often ranks high on the newborn list. Baby books, online parenting websites, and experts from mom to midwife all often speak of the benefits of bonding from emotional and social health to parental trust and love. So, what happens if you aren’t bonding with your baby, or worse your baby doesn’t seem to be bonding with you? Let’s start from the top.
What is bonding?
Bonding is the development of that love between you and your baby that makes every stinky diaper, puked on shoulder, destroyed important paper work, and 4 am wake-up call okay. It’s the build of the attachment that makes your baby the most important thing in your life that you would do absolutely everything to protect, provide for, and support. It’s the formation of an everlasting, unbreakable connection.
How can you tell if your baby has bonded with you?
There aren’t really signs so to speak that a baby and parent have bonded. Usually it represents a change in mindset for the parent from unease, fear, and uncertainty about this baby to a realization that this is my baby and an individual with these feelings, likes and dislikes that I as a parent know and I am comfortable with. A bond has formed when mom or dad can intuitively know what their baby needs, wants, or is feeling and the baby finds the most comfort in their arms.
What if your baby won’t bond with you?
Babies bond instinctively; there are no babies that will not bond. Often the feeling that your baby doesn’t like you or won’t ever bond with you is all in your head. If you allow those feelings to pass chances are you’ll see your baby has bonded with you and you simply didn’t realize it.
What if you don’t feel a bond between you and your baby?
Some new parents feel a strong bond instantly with their new baby; others may take time. If you don’t feel that instant connection give it time to begin with. Spend time simply holding your baby and staring into those heart-melting eyes. The everyday acts of caring for a newborn form a bond between parent and baby all on their own.
If you’ve given it time and you still feel that there is no bond between you and your baby, there may be an underlying issue. Postpartum depression for example is well known to cause a feeling of distance between mother and child. You should consult your pre-natal care provider just to be sure. Talking about your feelings with your partner if you have one or someone you trust, is also a good way to work through your unease and concerns. Sometimes the worry that you won’t bond with your baby is all that’s standing in the way of bonding.
Relax, and remember the best parents in the world in a child’s eyes is the ones they have.
You may also find helpful to ease your new parent worries:
Are Disposable Diapers Safe? The Real Unbiased Facts
Baby Poop: All About What Comes Out of Your Baby’s Bottom
Can You Consume Caffeine While Breastfeeding?
What is bonding?
How can I tell if my baby has bonded with me?
Bonding with baby