She’s finally here: your brand new bundle of joy. Cradled in your arms, you gaze at your new baby and feel. . . nothing. You are not overwhelmed with joy or happiness and you are not overcome with love and sweet emotions as you imagined you would be, and as you have been told you should be.

You wonder: I’ve been so excited about this baby, and now that she’s here, I don’t feel any bond at all. What’s wrong with me?

First, know that you are not alone, and that these feelings are shared by others. There are many possible reasons you feel an inability to bond with your new baby, and just because you feel this way today does not mean it will be this way forever.

Bonding between mother and child from the early days of infancy can help build trust and security.

Here are five simple ways that mothers can create strong bonds with their babies.

  1. Spend as much time during the very early days after your child is born allowing for skin-to-skin contact. Studies show that this contact helps you release endorphins, resulting in projecting calm and reassurance to your baby. Soon your baby will recognize your touch, scent, and feel compared to others.
  1. Talk and sing to your baby. Allow him/her to hear the sound of your voice as much as possible from the very beginning, whether singing lullabies or simply explaining how you are changing baby’s clothes. Newborns can recognize their mother’s voice from the time they are born.
  2. Make eye contact with your baby. Although eyesight is still developing, newborns can see approximately 12 inches in front of them, so when you are holding your baby, be sure to also hold his/her gaze. Your child will begin to recognize your features and be soothed by your familiarity.
  3. Make sure you and your partner are the main people who take care of feeding your baby. Breastfeeding can help build strong bonds between mother and child, but bottle feeding can also strengthen the bond between you and your baby, as well as your baby’s bond with your partner. When feeding your baby, hold him/her close, make eye contact, sing or speak softly, and give all of your attention to your newborn so that he/she feels calm and soothed during the feeding.
  4. Respond to your baby’s needs. You cannot spoil a baby. In fact, the more you bond with your baby now, the more they will learn to trust you. If your child feels secure in his/her attachment to you, he/she will more likely grow up to be a more independent adult.


  • Dr. Gail Gross

    Author and Parenting, Relationships, and Human Behavior Expert

    Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and member of APA Division 39, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, the Today Show, CNBC's The Doctors, Hollywood Reporter, FOX radio, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Times of India, People magazine, Parents magazine, Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine, USA Today, Univision, ABC, CBS, and KHOU's Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Also, Dr. Gross has written a semi-weekly blog for The Huffington Post and has blogged at since 2013. Recently, Houston Women's Magazine named her One of Houston's Most Influential Women of 2016. Dr. Gross is a longtime leader in finding solutions to the nation’s toughest education challenges. She co-founded the first-of-its kind Cuney Home School with her husband Jenard, in partnership with Texas Southern University. The school serves as a national model for improving the academic performance of students from housing projects by engaging the parents. Dr. Gross also has a public school elementary and secondary campus in Texas that has been named for her. Additionally, she recently completed leading a landmark, year-long study in the Houston Independent School District to examine how stress-reduction affects academics, attendance, and bullying in elementary school students, and a second study on stress and its effects on learning. Such work has earned her accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998. More recently, she was honored in 2013 with the Jung Institute award. She also received the Good Heart Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame Award, the Great Texan of the Year Award, the Houston Best Dressed Hall of Fame Award, Trailblazer Award, Get Real New York City Convention's 2014 Blogging Award, and Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Gross’ book, The Only Way Out Is Through, is available on Amazon now and offers strategies for life’s transitions including coping with loss, drawing from dealing with the death of her own daughter. Her next book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, is also available on Amazon now and teaches parents how to enhance their child’s learning potential by understanding and recognizing their various development stages. And her first research book was published by Random House in 1987 on health and skin care titled Beautiful Skin. Dr. Gross has created 8 audio tapes on relaxation and stress reduction that can be purchased on Most recently, Dr. Gross’s book, The Only Way Out is Through, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Silver Medal finalist in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the categories of Death & Dying as well as Grief. Her latest book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, was the National Parenting Product Awards winner in 2019, the Nautilus Book Awards winner in 2019, ranked the No. 1 Best New Parenting Book in 2019 and listed among the Top 10 Parenting Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority, as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gold Medal winner in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the category of How-To. Dr. Gross received a BS in Education and an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus on Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Gross received her second PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in Jungian studies. Dr. Gross was the recipient of Kappa Delta Pi An International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Gross was elected member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.