One of the key factors in raising a happy, confident child is building a strong, healthy emotional attachment. In many ways, this will come naturally for parents. But there are some simple steps you can take to help ensure a good close connection with your baby.
Start with the basics - keeping your baby warm, dry comfortable and safe. You can also help ensure your baby's health through breastfeeding and medical care. This attention to physical health is important to building emotional attachment.
Be sure to engage with your baby, too. Always respond soothingly. Use a kind voice and gentle hands.
As you become more in tune with your baby, listen to and watch for cues. Babies are easily over and under stimulated, so if your baby turns his head away or fusses or cries, he wants to stop an activity.
When she accomplishes something new, show your pleasure and provide encouragement - clap your hands, say "Yay!", give lots of hugs, etc. Don't forget to celebrate your child's own special and unique personality during each developmental milestone.
When you create a close, connected relationship in a healthy way, your child will feel safe, secure and protected on physical, emotional and mental levels.
Be sure to care for yourself too, so you can be a good parent. If you feel sad or lonely, talk to your healthcare provider or a family member and learn about resources in your community. If you make mistakes, forgive yourself, no parent is perfect. Just do your best and remember - like any new and complex skill, parenting takes time to learn.
Here are some ideas to help form a strong bond with your baby:
- Plan daily face-to-face time with your baby, to cuddle and play.
- Observe your baby so you can understand non-verbal cues.
- Respond to distress cues to build your baby's resilience. Babies need to know they can rely on adults to sooth them and help manage difficult feelings.
- Help your baby explore the world and accept the need for your guidance.
- See the world from the floor with your baby during tummy time.
- See the Tips for Parents Sheet for more ideas.
Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Crying Age 3 and Younger