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Cultivating Secure Attachments with Your Baby : Essential Tips for Healthy Bonding

Cultivating secure attachments with the baby is one of the most important things for any parent. These secure attachments between parent and child help in developing the best foundation for life and help the children grow into happier, healthier, and more confident adults in the future. The first years of life are extremely important in every child’s life because this is the time when the groundwork of being independent and secure is laid, and a secure and healthy attachment is the key. However, many parents fail to form this secure attachment with their babies because of various reasons. If you are a parent of a newborn and willing to know various ways to form this attachment, then this article is going to help you a lot. As we read further, we get to know about some of the most important ways to cultivate secure attachments with your baby.

How to Cultivate Secure Attachment With Your Baby?

According to the Georgia Department of Human Services (GDHS), newborns who are attached securely have learned that they can trust others to take care of them.(1) These babies tend to react well to stress and be superior problem solvers. In addition to this, these children who are securely attached to their parents are more self-reliant and independent, show higher academic performance, have more compliance and cooperation with the parent, have better emotional regulation skills, exhibit better social skills and competence, are prone to less social anxiety, and are more active socially.(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

So, secure attachment has enormous health benefits for children. Research over several decades has shown that a secure attachment is highly essential and is the most important foundation of effective parenting.(8) Of course, no one is a perfect parent, however, a focused effort to meet your baby’s needs, trying to connect with them more, can have long-lasting effects. Let us now check out various ways to cultivate secure attachments.

Wear Your Baby

Being a parent is not so easy. With so many things to accomplish in a day, fulfilling the needs of your children, sometimes it becomes too hard to even find time for yourself to bathe or even brush your teeth. However, wearing your baby using a sling can help a lot. This could be the greatest gift for your baby that helps them connect with you and develop secure attachments. The best thing about a sling is that it helps free your hands from other things around the house and also keeps your baby in close contact with your baby. This soothes your infant and can also help them calm down as well.

Read and Talk to Your Baby

Reading and talking to your baby is particularly essential to develop secure attachments and keep them connected to you. Being the primary caregiver to your baby, your baby must learn to understand you, respond to you, and trust you the most. Much of this understanding comes from verbal cues. You should start reading good books to your baby, especially big picture books with one-word descriptions of various objects, or books of numbers and alphabets having pictures. If you use language carefully when your baby is still an infant, make reading time routine, and your child will easily be able to discern later when they need to listen.

However, do not be a non-stop chatter for your baby all day long as this can cause them to become overstimulated.

Massage Your Baby Everyday

Massaging your baby gently every day can help in building secure attachment and also soothes the baby. Infant massage also helps infants to calm down quickly. Your gentle touch helps them relax and makes them feel happier. So, set everything apart and take out a specific time to massage your baby, maybe before or after a bath or even during changing their diapers.

Look at Your Baby While Feeding

Looking at your baby while feeding them promotes attachment, and also helps them develop their sense of identity. While feeding you have skin-to-skin contact with your baby, and when you look at them, the connection grows stronger.

Kiss Your Baby Too Often

Kissing your baby is an intimate activity that can help cultivate secure attachment. The kisses of parents are a sign of affection for their babies and that can even cure a whole host of ailments.

Play Lap Games With Your Baby

Lap games are fun games that involve a back-and-forth between a parent or caregiver and a baby. You can play lap games like patty-cake and peek-a-boo, which help your baby develop various skills including fine motor skills and object permanence. These games also provide you with times of closeness with your baby and help in building a strong connection between the two.

Be There When Your Baby Wakes Up

Finding their mothers, parents, or primary caregivers near them when they wake up makes babies feel safe and comfortable. This also helps in cultivating a stronger attachment between the parent and the baby. If you are aware of the time when your baby wakes from a nap, then make it a habit to remain with them during the wake time and be ready for them with a hug.

Talk to Your Baby When you are Not Around

When you are not around your baby and your baby is with anyone else at home, try to alleviate their fear of not being with you by talking to them, either over a phone call or video calls. This way, they feel safe and they also develop a sense of being connected to you. This helps in cultivating secure attachments too.

Bathe Your Baby and Make It a Fun Time

When you are bathing your baby, you get a chance to remain connected with them deeply. There is skin-to-skin contact and this helps in developing the attachment. Making this time a fun time by playing with them, talking to them, singing nursery rhymes, and so on. This way, you and your baby will get ample amount of scope to build secure attachments.

Engage in Deep Relationship

Learn to see your baby as a separate individual who needs love, respect, and affection. Respect their needs, understand their cues and moods, and find ways to explore more about them so that you can provide them with the best of your love and affection whenever they need it. Your warmth can make them feel strong.

In addition to this, try to spend more time with them playing or talking to them and support them emotionally and mentally too. Make eye contact with them and smile at them every time they gaze at you or need your response.

As your child grows up, your relationship deepens, and there is a secure attachment established between you two. So, engage in a deep relationship with your baby.

Plan  for Consistent Caregiving

It is indeed that babies are driven to be the most attached to their biological mothers since this is nature’s survival plan. However, secure attachment is equally possible with fathers, adoptive parents, grandparents, or other steady caregivers, as long as love and care are consistent and selfless.

If you are a working mother and have hired a caregiver or nanny for your baby, then make sure they are steady and consistently offering your baby the love and attention that they need. Furthermore, keep in mind not to change your baby’s caregivers or babysitters frequently.

How Do You Know That Your Baby is Developing Secure Attachments With You?

Some of the early signs that show that your baby is developing secure attachments with you are:

  • By four weeks, your baby responds to your smile, probably with a movement or a facial expression.
  • By three months, they smile back at you when you smile at them.
  • By four to six months, your baby turns to you and expects you to respond when upset.
  • By eight months, your baby have a special response just for you. By this time, they might also start to respond to your anger, stress, and frustration.

Final Words

Do not despair if your baby has not developed a secure attachment with you. It is never too late to try cultivating this bonding or attachment. To start the secure attachment process, you should make certain adjustments in your daily life and understand your babies more. Furthermore, you should also try to make them feel safe and secure, and for this, you should be available for them.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 27, 2023

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