I don’t feel like I’ve bonded with my new baby.
Are you worried that your relationship with your baby is not all that you expected it to be by now? Don’t worry. Many babies don’t develop exactly according to schedule, and many parents don’t either! You are not the only mom or dad with bonding concerns. Sometimes it is harder for some parents than others, because circumstances don’t always keep everyone’s schedule on an identical path. That bond will come. You and baby will get that special relationship, but it is a process.
What is bonding, exactly?
Bonding is the relationship between parent and child that makes mom or dad hold him when he cries or change her when she is wet. But, you may be thinking, what if you do these things, but with a little bit of secret resentment, or without that special joy? Is that normal? Yes! Sometimes parents find that life with baby is not what they expected. It’s a little bit harder or the changes in life are hard to deal with. Pregnancy and childbirth is an emotional rollercoaster and your body did go through a number of hormonal changes over the last few months or the last year. You may be having trouble bonding with the baby because you miss being pregnant, or the baby is not behaving as you expect.
Why is it hard?
Many new parents find it difficult at first. If you gave birth to the little one, perhaps it’s a bit hard because there is pain, or changes in your body. Another reason may be that there are too many things to worry about. Some parents worry about the future, about money, or the needs of the baby and the family in the future. This can be worse if there is a lack of support from your family or your spouse or partner.
What will help?
The more you keep on caring for the baby, especially as you both become more accustomed to each other, you will find that special bond. When he or she is new, you are still tired, and exhaustion makes everything harder. Sleep in the same room as the baby, make more skin to skin contact and the closeness will grow. This is true also if the baby was adopted, or for dad who may be having more trouble relating to life with a newborn.
Find a time to spend soothing and comforting your little one while he or she is sleeping peacefully. Take time to enjoy them. Soon you will be laughing together, playing and singing, and taking photographs of it all and wishing these days would last forever.
Sometimes it is hard. The most important things to remember is not to allow others to judge you and your relationship with your baby, and don’t compare yourself to other parents. If you find that you are more depressed than you want to be, or need more support, then contact the Pregnancy Care Centre. We have counsellors who are available for you both before and after the birth. You are not alone.