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Bonding With a Newborn Baby

Bonding is important for your baby’s cognitive and social development.

What can members do?

Some parents bond with their newborn the minute they see their baby for the first time, but that isn’t always the case. It isn’t uncommon for that bond to take some time to develop.

Parents who struggle at first shouldn’t feel guilty or think that it means you are a terrible parent. Not all relationships are love at first sight, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t grow to be just as strong.

As long as your baby’s needs are being meet, your baby won’t be harmed if the bonding takes a little longer. As you get more comfortable and more confident with your baby that bond will develop. Before you know it, one day your baby will either snuggle close or flash you a dazzling smile and your heart will melt.

Why is bonding with your baby important?

Bonding is what makes us want to nurture and protect our babies. And it makes all the hard work and sacrifice involved in raising a child rewarding. It also helps with your child’s cognitive skills, bonding not only helps your baby feel safe and secure, but it teaches them how to form intimate relationships and to trust others.

Why does bonding sometimes take longer?

Having a baby is overwhelming. It is a physical and emotional marathon. New parents have to adjust to a lot of changes and it can take awhile to process everything. Here are a few of the things that can make bonding a challenge. Remember that these are things that can make bonding harder, but not impossible. Talking with somebody about your feelings can help.

  • Bonding starts to happen as we make eye-to-eye contact, watch our babies respond to us, or snuggle. Many parents say that some of their favorite moments are rocking their baby to sleep at night when it is quiet and there is nobody to interrupt.

  • Wearing your baby or kangarooing (placing your baby on your bare chest so that you are touching skin-to-skin) is a great way to promote bonding. Infant massage is also a good way to help you and your baby relax and spend time together.

  • For many, breastfeeding is a wonderful time to bond and it naturally releases hormones that encourage bonding. If you are having problems with breastfeeding at first, don’t get discouraged. A lactation consultant can help you through some of the rough patches.

  • Find ways to make your life less overwhelming, whether that is cutting back on social activities or giving yourself permission to slide on the housekeeping and meal prep.

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