Emotional attachment is a deep bonding between a parent and a baby as the parent is the person who provides most of the care to the baby. Just as most parents have a strong emotional bonding with their newly born infants, in the same way even babies become attached to their parents. Attachment is a consistent process that takes place throughout the growth of the child even in infancy. Attachment develops as you respond to the baby’s needs in a caring, warm, sensitive and consistent manner. This is especially significant when your baby is sick, upset or distressed and you are taking utmost care of the baby. Attachment also builds as you go about your day to day tasks associated with your baby care which also involves long term association with the infants.
A baby’s first emotional attachment takes place in a very natural manner. There is a scenario wherein the baby is crying and you are trying to fulfil the need of the baby which may be via feeding, cuddling, change of diaper or simply picking up and cajoling the baby. Based on your warm and caring response there is a sense of trust that develops between you and the baby and the baby completely starts depending on you for comfort and starts to feel safe. As you get adept at understanding the needs of your baby and trying to fulfil those, your baby feels less stressed and more relaxed.
An immediate response to a baby’s cries is the best way to show your affection and love of the baby and to ensure baby is safe and loved. It should not be confused with going overboard as babies cannot be spoiled or made to go astray. When they feel the need of someone around them after feeling sick, upset or distressed, you just have to be there in the hour of need. Attachment involves two people interacting, sharing, and thereby establish emotional connecting. In simple terms as you respond to your baby’s needs, the baby will also reciprocate and respond to you. You will notice that it becomes easier to cajole a baby, the baby wants to be near you, and they even react and respond to you even from a distance. Holding, cajoling, loving and gently touching the baby are actions that promote attachment.
While a baby’s first attachment is usually with the mother, the eventual bonding established with the father is equally important and significant. Though babies form attachment relationships with other adults as well who take genuine care, the bonding with their parents is of utmost significance.
Importance of Attachment
Secure, healthy and deep attachment is the foundation that lets your child explore the world and have a safe place to come back to. Attachment is the first way that babies learn to express their feelings and their actions, by looking up to the person who cares for them and provides comfort. Attachment is the key to long-term emotional health as well for parents and babies. Healthy attachment is the key to enable your children handle situations as they grow older, important ones being separation from parents due to time spent for schooling, cooperating with other children, and developing eventual self-control. Attachment is the key that also helps children learn the art of trusting others that makes it a significant part of developing healthy relationships later in life.
Way to Know Whether Baby Finds Attachment Secure
There are signs that help judge whether a secure attachment is getting formed which is one of the greatest emotional reward for parents.
- In a month’s time your baby will respond to your smile, perhaps with a facial expression or a movement indicating attachment.
- In three months’ timeframe the baby will start smiling back at you signifying attachment.
- Within 4 to 6 months, baby will turn to you and expect a gentle response on getting upset which is a sign of attachment.
- By 7 or 8 months, baby will have a special response just for you after significant development of visual memory. In addition, there may even be a response stress, anger or sadness of a parent.
All these characteristics are strong sign of emotional attachment between a parent and the baby, which starts after birth and lasts a lifetime.