quality of the relationship between infant and caregiver; the two are almost one and health and the marker of a positive parent-infant relationship (for a great. Running Head: MOTHER-INFANT AND FATHER-INFANT INTERACTIONS thought to reveal the sort of attachment the infant has with the caregiver. When the infant or child does not feel confident in the caregiver's support, the attachment is insecure and this causes distress to the child.
But bonding is a process, not something that takes place within minutes and not something that has to be limited to happening within a certain time period after birth.
For many parents, bonding is a byproduct of everyday caregiving. You may not even know it's happening until you observe your baby's first smile and suddenly realize that you're filled with love and joy.
Attachment between infant and caregiver
The Ways Babies Bond When you're a new parent, it often takes a while to understand your newborn and all the ways you can interact: 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.
Eye-to-eye contact provides meaningful communication at close range. Babies can follow moving objects with their eyes. Your baby tries — early on — to imitate your facial expressions and gestures. Babies prefer human voices and enjoy vocalizing in their first efforts at communication. Babies often enjoy just listening to your conversations, as well as your descriptions of their activities and environments.
Making an Attachment Bonding with your baby is probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care. You can begin by cradling your baby and gently rocking or stroking him or her. If you and your partner both hold and touch your infant frequently, your little one will soon come to know the difference between your touches.
Both of you can also take the opportunity to be "skin to skin" with your newborn by holding him or her against your own skin when feeding or cradling. Babies, especially premature babies and those with medical problemsmay respond to infant massage.
- Bonding With Your Baby
Because babies aren't as strong as adults, you'll need to massage your baby very gently. Before trying out infant massage, be sure to educate yourself on proper techniques by checking out the many books, videos, and websites on the subject. You can also contact your local hospital to find out if there are classes in infant massage in your area. 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. In an uncomplicated birth, caregivers try to take advantage of the infant's alert period immediately after birth and encourage feeding and holding of the baby. Adoptive parents may be concerned about bonding with their baby. Although it might happen sooner for some than others, adopted babies and their parents can bond just as well as biological parents and their children.
Bonding With Daddy Men these days spend more time with their infants than dads of past generations did.
Although dads frequently yearn for closer contact with their babies, bonding frequently occurs on a different timetable, partially because they don't have the early contact of breastfeeding that many moms have.
FI Research Summary: Fathers and Attachment: The Fatherhood Institute
But dads should realize, early on, that bonding with their child isn't a matter of being another mom. In many cases, dads share special activities with their infants. And both parents benefit greatly when they can support and encourage one another.
Early bonding activities include: That's one reason experts recommend having your baby stay in your room at the hospital. While taking care of a baby is overwhelming at first, you can benefit from the emotional support provided by the staff and start becoming more confident in your abilities as a parent. Although rooming-in often is not possible for parents of premature babies or babies with special needs, the support from the hospital staff can make bonding with the infant easier.
At first, caring for a newborn can take nearly all of your attention and energy — especially for a breastfeeding mom. Bonding will be much easier if you aren't exhausted by all of the other things going on at home, such as housework, meals, and laundry. It's helpful if dads or other partners can give an extra boost with these everyday chores, as well as offer plenty of general emotional support. And it's OK to ask family members and friends for help in the days — even weeks — after you bring your baby home.
But because having others around during such a transitional period can sometimes be uncomfortable, overwhelming, or stressful, you might want to ask people to drop off meals, walk the dog, or run an errand for you. Parents-to-be may form a picture of their baby having certain physical and emotional traits.
By four to six months of age, infants begin to develop expectations of how their primary caregiver will respond to them when they are distressed. Between seven months and one year, infants show a definite preference for their primary caregiver. They start to exhibit a wariness of strangers and symptoms of separation anxiety.
Bonding With Your Baby (for Parents)
Toddlerhood From 12 to 18 months, as they start to walk and crawl, children use their attachment figure as a secure base from which to go out and discover the world and as a safe haven to which to return when frightened or alarmed. Children with secure histories have been shown to be more determined, enthusiastic, and competent in problem-solving as toddlers.
Preschool During this time, the attachment relationship is characterized by an increased tolerance for separation and an ability to cooperate with others. The child is learning to balance his or her need for independence, self-discipline, and exploration and the need for love and protection from the primary caregiver. However, as preschool approaches, children are still susceptible to a variety of dangers. Therefore, attachment behaviors, such as wanting to stay close to the primary caregiver and displaying occasional separation anxiety are adaptive processes, not regressive ones.
Western culture has often portrayed this type of behavior as controlling or attention-seeking. Attachment theorists believe this is inaccurate, as these behaviors help serve to ensure the child's survival and socialization. School age School-age children with a history of secured attachment histories demonstrate an ability to be more goal-oriented and often display positive leadership skills.
Numerous long-term studies have shown that in the following areas securely attached children do better as they grow older: The three primary insecure types are resistant attachment, avoidant attachment, and disorganized attachment. Resistant attachment This pattern is characterized by an emotional ambivalence in the child and a physical resistance to the primary caregiver.
The infant is often hesitant to separate from the caregiver and is quick to display anxiety and distress in an unfamiliar setting. This classification is often referred to as anxious-ambivalent because the child will demonstrate anger towards the caregiver at the same time they are expressing their need for comforting. This type of insecure attachment may be an indicator of risk for the development of emotional, social, and behavioral problems in childhood and later in life.
Avoidant attachment The key behavior in this type of insecure attachment is an active avoidance of the primary caregiver when the infant is upset.
These babies readily separate from their primary caregivers in order to explore and may be more affectionate with strangers than their own mother. They exhibit little preference for and appear emotionally distant from the primary caregiver. Disorganized attachment In this type of insecure attachment, infants show a variety of confused and contradictory behaviors. For example, during a reunion with the primary caregiver, the child may look away or even display a blank stare when being held.
Other babies may exhibit confusing patterns such as crying unexpectedly after being held or displaying odd, dazed expressions. Parental concerns Healthy attachment is the key to healthy babies, and healthy babies are the key to healthy adults.