Bonding refers to the special attachment that is formed between a mother and father and their newborn child. It is this connection that causes parents to rush into the newborn’s room in the middle of the night at the slightest whimper. It is also what makes parents want to instinctively care for and educate their child.
Sometimes the connection arises instantly – parents fall in love at the moment when they see their little “bunch of joy.” In other cases, communication with the child takes longer. Studies have shown that about 20% of young mothers and fathers do not experience real emotional attachment to their newborn in the first hours after birth. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to feel that attachment. If you haven’t started bonding with your child yet, don’t worry or feel guilty – it should come with time.
Attachment is an important human instinct that gives babies a sense of security and self-respect. Bonding also helps parents feel connected to their new family member. This starts to happen even before the baby is born – when you feel the first flutters in your stomach or see your baby kicking on the ultrasound screen. Your baby also begins to recognize you in the womb by the sound of your voice.