Bonding with your Baby
"If you pick up a baby every time they cry-you are going to
How often have you heard that? Nothing could be further from the
What is Attachment?
Parents develop a very strong emotional bond with their babies. That emotional bond is referred to as "attachment."
Comforting babies and young children when they cry teaches them that they can depend on you. They quickly learn that when they are upset, sick or hurt that mom or dad will come and comfort them.
Such prompt and consistent actions, on the part of a parent, build a strong and secure attachment between parent and child. Children feel that they are loved and feel secure in their environment.
What is an Insecure Attachment?
Not all children receive positive parenting actions when they cry.
- Some may be ignored, rejected or teased, or the parent may even respond with anger.
- Some parents respond in a very inconsistent manner, loving on some occasions and angry at other times.
A child, whose parents respond to them in such a negative manner, often develops a very insecure attachment with that parent.
What Happens When a Child is Insecurely Attached?
- These children soon realize that they cannot depend on their parent to be there for them.
- They believe that their feelings are not important to their parent.
- They do not feel worthy of love and attention.
- Often they learn to keep their feelings to themselves, rather then risk an unknown reaction from their parent.
- On the other extreme, children may become clingy and demanding to get the attention they have not been receiving.
- Research has shown that such children grow into individuals who may have difficulty relating to and caring about other people’s feelings and needs. Consequently, these children have problems getting along with others.
Does This Mean Our Children Should Never Cry?
Of course not! As parents you can not avoid all unpleasant situations for your children.
What is most important is that you are sensitive to your child's feelings most of the time.
So don't worry about spoiling your baby - go ahead and respond to your baby's needs and build a strong and secure attachment.
A Simple Gift: Comforting Your Baby, Hospital for Sick Children, 1998