Pocket Pets says you must get a joey that is as young as possible but no older than 12 weeks in order to get a glider to bond with you. THIS IS UNTRUE!!! I cannot emphasize this enough. Some of my sweetest and closest gliders came to me when they were older.
Gliders of any age can bond to you. In fact, sometimes adults are easier because they aren't as jumpy or nervous with going through new experiences. I have a few adults and young gliders that are looking for homes. Consider beautiful older gliders when looking for a new member of your family. It all comes down to how much time you spend with your gliders to establish a bond with them.
What is bonding?
Bonding is the relationship you build and establish with your sugar glider. If you build a strong bond they want to be with you. They will groom and clean you and jump to you and sleep in your pocket or shirt. Bonding is one of the most rewarding and sometimes one of the hardest things to do. Gliders that are socialized can be easier to bond to but it does still come with time. The biggest mistake most people make is giving up too soon. Once this happens the glider becomes a cage decoration. Please don't give up. If you need encouragement there are many resources and groups all over facebook that would be happy to help give you advise and encouragement throughout this lengthy process. The keys to a successful bonding is patience and persistence. You need both to bond with a sugar glider. A glider needs to build trust and this takes each glider time.
Many people believe that bonding means that they will only love one person. This is a myth. Bonding really means that they have lost their fear and have learned to trust humans. Essentially, they have accepted humans into their colony. This means they can develop a relationship with anyone in the family. And can and will establish a relationship with a new family member or new family too. Just because they have developed a bond with a family doesn't mean they will never accept another family or a new colony if needed.
Bonding bags are great for bonding. The more time spent with your glider the stronger your bond will become! Even while the glider/s are sleeping they are getting used to your smell while in a bonding bag! This can be in the form or a bonding pouch, bra pouch, or scarf! I have a few people I can recommend for these! Also when bonding I find it very useful to have fleece blankets that smell like me. Put them on your body when you are sleeping or working out and then give it to the gliders during the day. This helps the most to get your gliders used to your smell!
Tent/Tub time can be done in a mosquito tent or bathtub in a bathroom. Some people even have a glider safe room in the house. All cracks, door gaps, air ducts, etc. are covered for gliders' safety. This gives the gliders a chance for them to be free with you in an enclosed area. This helps a lot with bonding and allows you to become part of their environment and for you to become the toy and they can roam about the area and you safely. Tents can be anything from a camping tent to a mosquito netting tent that you can purchase on amazon. With tub or tent time you can set up a toy or jungle gym. You can do this as long and as often as you would like but typically the gliders will go back to their pouch when they are tired and ready to go to bed. They might even climb in to your shirt or pocket for nap time!
Play time vs Bonding time
Tent time is both but if you are trying to bond don't have toys or other pouches in the tent. You want to be the only safe thing in the tent to explore and find comfort. As they get comfortable they will start to roam about you and find a place to cuddle up and sleep. You are wanting to be in their environment, it's ok if they are still jumping about the tent. They will start to explore you and smell you. They may even pee and mark you. I wear an old sweatshirt with hood when it's tent time! I bring the suggies in their pouch for tent time but once they come out of the pouch, I remove the pouch from sight. I sit on them or toss them right outside the tent door. Bring treats into tent time. I encourage you to just watch and learn your gliders and be patient.
Play time is after you have established a good bond with you. This is when you add toys and jungle gyms into the tent. You at that point become one of the toys. When they are bonded to you they will climb on you and play with their toys. This will strengthen your bond with them and deepen your relationship.