Ask AF: Time to Bond

Your friends and family may not understand the bonding cycle. Gently explain to them your need for alone time with your new baby.

Q: Our families are very excited about our impending adoption and can’t wait to hold our new baby. But my husband and I would like a few days alone with our newborn before they meet him. How can I explain this?


A: Explain the bonding cycle now, before the baby arrives, so your parents will understand not just why you’ll want to be alone with the new baby for the first few days but also why you and your husband should be the ones to hold, feed, and soothe him for the first month or so. You might say something like, “Our baby is going to be disoriented when he first comes home, because every sound and smell will be different. He’ll need to learn that he can trust and rely on us, his parents, to provide food and comfort. Only when he feels safe and comfortable will we be able to expand his world to include all the other people who love him and who will be important in his life.”