What it Means to Bond with Your Baby
Bonding with your baby means the emotional attachment/connection that you as a mother/father form with your baby - no matter whether you are your baby's biological or non-biological parents - and develops from your desire to love, protect and meet Baby's every need. This bond is the foundation for Baby's development and will continue to influence his/her overall wellbeing throughout childhood and through the teen years to become an adult. So, forming a bond with baby is the beginning toward the future. Without such a bond babies are deprived of being emotionally and socially nourished, which threatens their development and wellbeing through the 'growing' years.
You may have read from some sources that the intensity of love that parents feel for their baby happens as 'love at first sight'. Certainly some parents experience this overwhelming feeling the first moment they see their baby. Yet for other parents the bond develops over time, as they ease their way into parenting and get to know their baby.
Such bonding occurs through your countless interactions as you sensitively care for Baby. Holding Baby in your arms and smiling as you gaze at each other, your use of touch and skin-to-skin contact, your talking and singing accompanied by a rocking or swaying motion all communicate your affection. As scientific research shows these types of parenting interactions are crucial for babies' wellbeing and development beginning with their need to be loved, which in turn builds on their sense of security, as an attachment to the parent is formed (see Communicating with Baby about the importance of why such interactions are essential to Baby's development, wellbeing and learning).
Be reassured that your bond with Baby will develop and continue to strengthen as a result of the loving interactions you share together throughout the early weeks.
Continue to progress through Bonding and Beyond to learn more about the need for parents' sensitive interactions and their role in bonding and Baby's wellbeing.