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Developing Infant Attachment and Bonding

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Dad Kissing Baby

Kissing your baby is another way of building attachment and bonding.

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Kiss your baby.
Kissing is an intimate activity and a sign of affection that can help promote attachment. The kiss of most parents is even known to “cure” a whole host of ailments and boo-boos.

Talk to your baby when you are out of sight.
Soon enough, your baby may lose that “out of sight, out of mind” mindset. Many babies become frightened when they realize a parent or caregiver has left the room, and this can be frustrating every time you need to answer the phone or use the bathroom. If you start early, you can help alleviate this fear. As you are leaving the room, talk to your baby about what you are doing or where you are going. You don’t need to speak loudly or keep your voice going the entire time, but just hearing your voice is a reassuring reminder that you aren’t far away. In time, your baby will gain the sense that all is still well when you leave the room and there’s no need to fear.

Be there when your baby wakes up.
You don’t have to set an alarm or stand over your sleeping child just waiting for the moment he rises. If you know your child always wakes from a nap at a certain time, though, make it a habit to occasionally be nearby when he wakes up, ready with a hug. This is especially true if you have a child who always wakes up crying or seems afraid upon waking. Knowing you are nearby can help alleviate this.

Bathe with your baby.
Again, the skin-to-skin contact here is elemental toward developing attachment and it’s a routine that provides stability and builds trust between you and your baby. It’s not necessary to bathe with him each and every time, but it’s a fun time for you and your baby to share together.

Learn your baby’s cues and respond to them quickly.
Each baby has his own set of cues, but many are universal. Babies will begin rooting, mouthing their hands or making sucking sounds when hungry and will eventually cry, for example. In time you will learn what all your child’s signals are if you pay close attention to what’s going on before the diaper change, feeding, nap or bedtime. When you have an attachment to someone, it is because you are close to them and you know them. You know when your best friend is feeling down and you know how to make her feel better. You know what your significant other’s favorite food is and you probably know just when to cook it to make him or her feel comforted. The same holds true with your baby. When you know your baby and respond to his cues, you build trust and a sense of security that all his needs are going to be met and anxiety is lessened and often eliminated. You don’t have to run at break-neck speed the instant your baby starts to make hungry sucking noises, but that’s a good time to respond verbally and let him know that food is coming. That response lets him know you are aware of his needs and that “help is on the way.” It also gives you time to gather a glass of water or a snack before nursing or allows you to prepare a bottle before his cue turns into a desperate demand.

And one last tip — ignore anyone who says you are spoiling your baby. You’ll be able to prove them wrong when your child is secure enough in your love to venture out on his own to explore the world.

Related Video
Simple Ways to Bond With Your Baby
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