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Sometimes the bonding between a baby and his or her mom or dad just isn’t developing the way you would expect. We often take it for granted that when meeting our new baby, it will be a mutual love at first sight. But what if this doesn’t happen? Or if a baby and parent are separated for longer periods?

Often , if a baby prefers one of the parents, it is a normal development stage for the child and can be dealt with as such, while other times, a family may need help to improve the situation.

Some of the ages when it is normal for a baby to prefer one parent are the following:

Newborn babies will sometimes only settle with their mom. This is not true for all newborns, but in most cases, mom is the first person they will be with most of the time and hence the first one they bond with.

A few months old, some babies make a big difference between their closest family and everyone else.

At around 7-9 months, many babies get strong separation anxiety and being even 1 inch away from mom (or possibly dad) is pure torture.

18-24 months – either parent can be the preferred one. This is not due something wrong that the other parent did and the stage will pass.

3-5 years – it is common that the child strongly prefers the parent of the opposite sex.

5-7 years – the opposite happens; the parent of the same sex becomes more important, but the preference is less outspoken since the child is older.

Either way, you are not alone!

By browsing the baby bonding questions and answers below, you’ll find out what’s normal and not as well as get many tips on how to strengthen the bond and relationship with your child.