A secure attachment is a non-verbal relationship between primary caregiver and an infant, and is defined by responses to cues expressed through gestures, movements, and sounds. A successful relationship enables the infant to be secure enough to develop completely, in all ways. The bond determines how the infant communicates, forms relationships and interacts throughout life. You can set the best foundation for your child by understanding ways of participating in such emotional interactions.
Why is the secure attachment bond so important?
The process of attachment is dynamic and interactive. Both the caregiver and the infant take part in exchanging non-verbal cues, which makes the baby feel safe and understanding. A few days after birth, the baby picks up your emotional cues, such as tone, emotions, and gestures, and sends you signals through crying, mimicking of facial expressions, cooing, laughing, smiling, yelling and pointing. In exchange, you listen and watch your baby’s sounds and cries, and respond as you tend to his or her needs for warmth, affection and food. Secure attachment bond promotes the growth of non-verbal communication between the mother and baby.
Why is the bond so important to your baby?
The secure attachment bond help babies in trusting their primary caregivers, communicating their feelings and trusting other members of the family. As the mother and infant connect, the baby understands ways of having a healthy sense of self and ways of being in an empathetic, loving relationship. The bond promotes the growth and development of the parts of the baby responsible for emotional and social development, relationship and communication. The relationship is the foundation of the ability of the child to relate with others in healthy ways. Attributes that adults take for granted, such as understanding, empathy, love and responsiveness, are learned at infancy if we attach to the baby well.
A secure attachment bond enables babies to:-
- Develop a fulfilling and secure, intimate relationship
- Feel good and confident about themselves
- Maintain emotional balance
- Enjoy when in company of others
- Seek support and share their feelings
- Rebound from loss and disappointment
Parenting Tips for Building Secure Attachment
Secure attachment is a consistent partnership between the primary caregiver and the infant. With time, it becomes easier for the mother to understand signals from the baby. Therefore, patience is important as one tries to respond to the needs of the baby, such as food, love, rest and comfort since it is a learning process.
There is no single approach for meeting the baby’s needs because we are all unique in terms of preferences and personality. Some infants may be soothed by activity and noise whilst others might prefer quiet and calm. Hence, the key is learning the baby’s unique cue and responding accordingly. Parents finding difficulties in understanding these cues can always get help from child support agency.
Watch the baby’s body movements and facial expressions for clues about his or her sensory needs. As a primary caregiver, familiarize yourself with the sounds that the infant makes and their meanings. By learning how to soothe and calm the baby, the mother initiates trust and gradually, the baby learns how to self-sooth.