The attachment process is interactive and dynamic. Both you and your baby participate in an exchange of nonverbal emotional cues that make your baby feel understood and safe. Even within the first few days of being born, your baby picks up on your emotional cues—your tone of voice, your gestures, and your emotions and tries to communicate by crying, cooing, mimicking facial expressions, and eventually smiling, laughing, pointing, and even yelling, too.
In return, you watch and listen to your baby’s cries and sounds, and respond to their cues, at the same time as you tend to their need for food, warmth, and affection. Secure attachment grows out of the success of this nonverbal communication process between you and your baby.
The Importance of Bonding
Creating an attachment teaches your baby to trust you, to communicate their feelings to you, and eventually to trust others as well. As you and your baby connect with one another, your baby learns how to have a healthy sense of self and how to be in a loving, empathetic relationship.
Creating a bond with your baby causes the parts of your baby’s brain responsible for social and emotional development, communication, and relationships to grow and develop in the best way possible. This relationship becomes the foundation of your child’s ability to connect with others in a healthy way. Qualities that you may take for granted in adult relationships—like empathy, understanding, love, and the ability to be responsive to others—are first learned in infancy.
Creating a Bond
Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are both natural times for bonding. Infants respond to the smell and touch of their mothers, as well as the responsiveness of the parents to their needs. Touch becomes an early language as babies respond to skin-to-skin contact. It’s soothing for both you and your baby while promoting your baby’s healthy growth and development.
Sometimes babies will be fussy no matter what you do, as when teething, sick, or undergoing a big developmental change. When this happens, keep up your efforts to communicate with and soothe your baby. Your patience, love, and care benefit your baby even if he or she continues to fuss.
Creating a bond with your baby may not happen overnight. It is an ongoing experience. As time goes on, it will become easier to understand the cries, interpret the signals, and respond to your baby’s needs for food, rest, love, and comfort—try to be patient with yourself and your baby as you learn about each other. We are here for you! Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.
(Some information provided by Help Guide).