Office of Child Welfare
Creating A Loving Bond With Your Baby
The bond between parent and child is one of the strongest connections in nature. Whether you’re a biological mom or dad, an adoptive parent or a stepparent, it is important for your child to form a strong bond with you. Luckily, children are already wired to bond with their caregivers.
Making your baby feel safe and loved is one of the most important building blocks to bonding with your child. Developing a trusting relationship with your baby is an important first step. Your baby will learn to trust you as you respond to his or her cries.
A daily routine for feeding, naps and bedtime will help your baby learn what to expect from his or her environment, which will also build trust. This brochure provides additional tips that can help you bond with your baby day and night.
What if I don’t feel a strong bond with my baby?
Bonding doesn’t always happen within hours or days. Bonding is delayed in about 30 percent of mothers for a variety of reasons. Maybe your baby, or the birth process, wasn’t what you expected. Maybe you are disappointed, under a lot of stress, or simply exhausted.
Most parents will develop a strong attachment to their babies as they care for their babies’ needs over the first few months. Once parents get to know their babies, and adjust to this new addition, their feelings usually deepen. If you don’t feel that you’re bonding by the time you take your baby to his or her first doctor’s appointment, talk to the doctor about your concerns during the appointment.
Since babies are comforted by scents associated with their mothers, dads may find it helpful to use the same lotion or shampoo as mom. Dad’s can also bring a shirt that mom has worn that day with them to feed during the night.