Building a Secure Attachment Bond With Your Baby

The secure attachment bond is the nonverbal emotional relationship between an infant and primary caregiver, defined by emotional responses to the baby's cues, as expressed through movements, gestures, and sounds. The success of this wordless relationship enables a child to feel secure enough to develop fully, and affects how he or she will interact, communicate, and form relationships throughout life. By understanding how you can better participate in this emotional interaction, you can ensure that your child has the best foundation for life.

What is the attachment bond?

The attachment bond is the unique emotional relationship between your baby and you as his or her primary caretaker. This wordless interactive emotional exchange draws the two of you together, ensuring that your infant will feel safe and be calm enough to experience optimal development of their nervous system. The attachment bond is a key factor in the way your infant's brain organizes itself and influences your child’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development.
The quality of the attachment bond varies. A secure bond provides your baby with an optimal foundation for life: eagerness to learn, healthy self-awareness, trust, and consideration for others. An insecure attachment bond, one that fails to meet your infant’s need for safety and understanding, can lead to confusion about his or her own identity and difficulties in learning and relating to others in later life.

Myths and facts about baby bonding and secure attachment

Myth: “My baby is attached to me because I gave birth to him or her.”
  • Fact: Infants have independent nervous systems that may be different from yours. What makes you feel good may not be the same thing that makes your infant feel good. So unless you look and listen to your infant’s emotional cues, you won’t understand his or her individual needs.
Myth: “Secure attachment and love are the same thing.”
  • Fact: Bonding and attachment happen instinctively between mothers and babies, but, unfortunately, loving your baby doesn't automatically result in secure attachment. Secure attachment develops from your ability to manage your stress, respond to your baby's cues, and successfully soothe your infant. Read more...
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