Will My Baby and I Ever Bond?

Support for new moms from an Align staffer

How long does it take for your baby to bond with you? What is bonding like?

“Bonding” with a newborn means that the mother develops feelings of unconditional love for her child. Generally, moms bond naturally with their newborn babies. If that hasn’t been your experience so far as a new mom, however, you might wonder, “Do all moms bond right away to their newborns? What if I don’t? Is something wrong with me?”

If you don’t bond with your baby right away, that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you and there is nothing wrong with your relationship with your baby.

It’s good to recognize that sometimes bonding can be immediate. As soon as a mom or dad sees or holds their newborn baby, they feel that bond. I know people who have experienced this, but this was not my story. It took weeks before I finally felt bonded to my infant son.

According to WebMD, I’m not alone! Roughly 20% of parents say they don’t feel any real emotional attachment to their babies in the first hours, days, or even weeks after the baby is born. Studies show that bonding tends to develop slowly, over the course of a child’s first year of life, rather than all at one time.

According to whattoexpect.com, the bond you form with your child is inevitable, meaning, it will naturally develop as you spend time with your little one. The bond may take extra time to grow strong, especially if your labor and delivery was difficult, or your newborn has health problems, or you’re simply feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. In some cases, bonding trouble might stem from postpartum depression or anxiety.

So, if you don’t feel those strong feelings of closeness in the first days or weeks after birth, that’s completely normal. The fact that you’re even worried about whether you have bonded with your baby or not indicates you already have an incredible amount of love for your child.

I and many other moms want to encourage you from experience. Your bond with your baby will likely develop and strengthen over time. Do not give up hope. Soon, you probably won’t be able to remember what life was like without this precious new child!

Written by: Lex Kanode