Did Bonding with Baby Happen for you Immediately?

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I think we can agree that pregnancy and birth are two unique experiences in a woman’s life. There are so many feelings flooding you that it can certainly be overwhelming. I never had so many contradicting feelings in my life. I was happy but afraid of the unknown; I was excited but nervous about how my life was about to change, I was in awe about how my body was changing but worried that I wouldn’t get that same body back. Above all, I was eager and waiting for that bonding with baby moment to occur.


I had read countless articles and other moms’ stories of how they bonded with their babies while pregnant, and when the moment finally came, and they got to hold their newborn they felt this overwhelming love. 


Okay, so I didn’t exactly bond with my baby while pregnant. 


Don’t get me wrong. I was excited at the thought of having a little human of my own. But to me, it was challenging to feel that profuse love for someone that I couldn’t see or touch. And although I could feel him alright, connecting with my child took longer than I expected.


Chance had it that several of my friends were pregnant at the same time. I remember some of them posting photos on social media with captions along the lines of “I am hopelessly in love with my baby” or “I feel so much love that it hurts”.


And there I was with my perfectly round bump not feeling that. I felt somewhat strange, but I brushed it off, thinking that baby bonding time will come after I give birth, and I get to hold my angel.


Little did I know that this wasn’t going to happen.


I worked for most of my pregnancy. Being a teacher and working mostly with young children meant that I was super active on a daily basis. Not to mention doing routine housework as my husband was away quite often on business. 

So I ‘blamed’ my lack of immense love on the fact that I had quite a hectic life.

I was one of those lucky moms-to-be who had an easy-breezy pregnancy: no morning sickness, no pains whatsoever. So, for the first part of my pregnancy, before the bump became visible and my little sergeant started the drill exercises in there, I didn’t feel any different. I would be reminded that I’m cooking a human when I’d go for a check-up and see him on the ultrasound. 

In my mind, this was another reason why bonding with baby didn’t happen so soon. 

Thinking about it now, 39 weeks flew by just like that. Perhaps, as all moms know, the longest month was the last one when I couldn’t do much, and I had to take it easy. Even so, I was full of excitement, I loved buying things for my baby, and I spend some time arranging and organizing his nursery. 


And then, the moment came. 

I gave birth to a perfect little boy on a sunny autumn afternoon. I was absolutely exhausted from the pain. One of the nurses showed him to me, I gave him a quick kiss on the head, and then they took him away. 

I remember that, even though I was worn out, I could feel the surge of adrenaline flowing through me. 

Soon after that, we both got to the hospital room where we stayed for the next two days.


I thought that bonding with baby would happen automatically.

I thought that the moment I saw him, I would be hopelessly in love, just like the other moms. But it didn’t happen for me. 

What did I feel? I felt extremely agitated (all that adrenaline I guess), I felt absolutely drained and yet I couldn’t sleep, I felt scared, I was sore, but above all, I had this overwhelming feeling of…duty. This little human was ENTIRELY relying on me for EVERYTHING. My actions meant his survival. It doesn’t get more serious than this. 

Among all that sea of feelings, one was missing: the immense love.


It took me nearly six months to fully connect with my child.

My son was a terribly colicky baby. The poor soul would cry for hours on end. This happened every day for three months. So for his first 12 weeks of life, I feel that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy him. I was constantly tired, worried and alone. 

I started wondering whether I was a good mom, whether I was even meant to be a mom. What kind of mother doesn’t feel like her baby is her world?? Surely there must be something wrong with me.

It also took me a while to adjust to the fact that I couldn’t do many of the things that I did before, like watching my favourite TV shows, eating when I wanted, going out and so on. My life had irremediably changed. It is difficult to admit, but sometimes I resented my baby for this. And this, in turn, made me cry so much because I thought that something was wrong with me and that I was a bad mother.

How did bonding with baby happen so quickly for my friends and other moms?

Well, the truth is, after a long while, when I built up the courage to talk openly about this, it turns out that, for some of them, bonding with baby didn’t happen instantly either. Like me, they had a profound feeling of duty and the urge to protect that helpless little being, but the feeling of absolute love and attachment came later ( I later found out that about “20% of new moms and dads feel no real emotional attachment to their newborn in the hours after delivery“)

It’s just that this is not a very popular topic for fear that people might judge you and put a stigma on you. It’s difficult to admit it even to yourself. The feeling of guilt weighs hard on your soul. 

But now that I’ve been through all of it and came out on the other side feeling that my little boy is my world I know that even though connecting with my child didn’t happen instantly, it did happen in the end, and it is an unbreakable bond. 

I think it’s important to know that it is different for each of us. We are different, and our situations are different. Some moms will feel that wave of boundless love right away, while for others, this will happen later. This doesn’t make you an unfit mother by any means! It’s just the way nature works. 

So, if someone asks me “Did bonding with baby happen for you immediately?” my answer is “No, it didn’t”. And it’s okay. For us, it came later and now I couldn’t imagine life without him.

To all the moms who didn’t immediately connect with their babies, for whichever reason, with the risk of repeating myself, I want to stress this:

You are a great mom, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! Baby bonding time will come, don’t worry!


You might also like: “Fear not, little one: How to tell your little one about isolation.”

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30 thoughts on “Did Bonding with Baby Happen for you Immediately?”

  1. I loved her the moment she arrived, but then we struggled with breastfeeding and I totally hated the newborn phase. When she was around 4 months old and only on formula, that’s when things got a lot better.

  2. We bonded right away but I wasn’t a fan of the newborn phase. I’ve really enjoyed each stage from like 5 months on. At first it felt weird to say I didn’t like the newborn phase but I’ve definitely learned I’m not alone!

    1. I loved the baby from the start but of course if you talk about bonding it was quite less. The reason for this I guess is because the baby doesn’t reciprocate back like we do or at least we are not able to understand.It takes time.

  3. It’s ok to say that you didn’t bond with your baby right away. I had trouble bonding with my firstborn. It took some time to bond. And it took me less time to bond with my second child. I think the problem is that when you are a first-time mom, you are scared because someone depends on you to protect them, and you feel like you have no idea what you are doing.

  4. It’s good to know that not everyone bonds immediately and that’s okay – sometimes it was hard to hear other Moms talk about their bonding experience and at the time I didn’t get it and sometimes when I think back, I wonder if I had missed something.

    1. I sincerely appreciate your raw honesty and vulnerability here. We all have connect with our children differently, and you’re right – this does not make you a bad mom. I’m proud of you for sharing, mama!

  5. I bonded right away with both my daughters! Newborn stage was all snuggles but hard. I like the 9-12 month stage the best!

  6. I had a similar experience but with my second child. My first child it was immediate I was so incredibly in love with this little person. But when my second came along those feelings were not there. I loved him but it wasn’t like it was worth my daughter and I feel horrible. I thought maybe I’m not giving him enough of my attention or maybe he doesn’t like me. After he was a year old the bond started to get closer and we have a great relationship now. It was disheartening though at first. Thank you for writing this article.

  7. Thanks for sharing this! I had a similar experience. I didn’t feel bonded to my child at all while pregnant, and when I met him I thought he was pretty cute but other than that I wasn’t super interested. I was mostly frustrated with the pain, the demands of my newborn on me, and the fact that my labor didn’t go how I wanted to. My husband bonded with him immediately, changed all the diapers, and pretty much only gave him to me for breastfeeding. It was hard. I didn’t feel any “bond” towards him until about 6 weeks in and one day I just looked at him and my heart got all swollen and butterfly-like (kind of like when you fall in love with someone) and it’s been there ever since! But I can’t lie and say that I fell in love or bonded right away. I did not. It took time and CHOOSING love out of duty, and then it came. I can imagine this would happen with adoption as well, which is encouraging to me because it means that love comes from time and choice! And then those feelings will come eventually! I’m pregnant with my 2nd now and I already feel in love with the child in my belly. I think it’s different because I know what to expect out of parenthood and how much love a parent can feel for their child. I’m curious how all of that will play out after birth. 🙂

  8. I struggled to bond with my daughter, I felt like something was wrong with me but I suffered from postnatal depression. A few months in and we were inseparable

  9. With my first I felt bonded before she was born. However, with my now 8 week old second baby, everything was so different! I had a toddler running around and was pregnant during a pandemic so homeschooling my older stepkiddos. Even when I gave birth this time I didn’t cry those emotional OH MY GOSH ITS MY BABY tears! It wasn’t until I left L&D and got to our recovery room and spent that first night holding her that it clicked for me.

  10. So glad you bonded with your little one.
    I on the other hand, bonded with both my kids during pregnancy and the second they popped out. But then it could be because i’m absolutely baby mad and I’ve always worked with kids.
    I tried Breastfeeding both of them but it never worked for any of us…so bottle fed from day 1…and OMW we had the most awesome bond that way.
    Newborn and the first few months was definitely my absolute favourite…I just want another one now just so i can have that stage again…

  11. I had issues bonding with my first baby after she was born. It was a rough delivery that ended up with an emergency C-section and I was so exhausted. It took me probably a good week before I felt like I really bonded with her after everything calmed down a little and I could actually hold her more.

  12. I loved my baby from the start! HOWEVER, it took me a few days to bond with her. I was a first time mom and was terrified of not knowing what to do. After a few days the fear went away once I was comfortable and in a routine (so to say lol).

  13. My oldest and I have been bffs since the moment she was born. (She’s 5 now.) With my second, she was a very chronically fussy baby and I think it too much a little longer to bond happily since the newborn/infant stage was so unpleasant.

  14. I felt the same exact way! It took about six months too with my first, but with my second it was immediate! Thanks for talking about this!

  15. For me it didn’t happen right away with my first. I think part of the reason why is I had my mother there and we don’t have a good relationship, and she wouldn’t desist saying hurtful things. I was also in labor for 5.5 days and the birth was very difficult. I did bond quickly with the future children I had though and I think it’s because I was firm with who I did and didn’t want around during and after the babies were born.

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