Building a secure emotional attachment and bond with your baby

You don’t need to be the perfect parent to secure an emotional attachment and give your child the best start in life. Different studies have shown that the quality of non-verbal communication that occurs between you and your child affects the critical aspect of the child-core caretaker relationship. Rather than the quality of education, care, or even the love bond that grows between the parents and the child.  

Although it’s simpler to establish a secure emotional bond with your child when they are still infants, you can still ensure that your child feels secure and understood at any age. The most critical role of parenting is to train kids from being vulnerable and dependent individuals to being independently able to care for themselves in the future.

What is secure emotional attachment?

The attachment bond is the distinctive emotional connection formed between your child and you (their key caretaker). This attachment bond is created through wordless communication. The secure attachment bond makes certain that your child feels calm, secure, and understood sufficiently to experience the best possible development of their nervous system.

Although the emotional attachment between you and your child is formed naturally as you care for their needs, yet the quality of the attachment bond differs. This emotional attachment tends to grow over time through daily routines, responses, and actions.   

Why is secure emotional attachment and bond important?

Emotional attachment and bond is a significant factor in raising a contented and confident child. Studies suggest that this attachment bond is critical to your child’s development because it affects your child’s physical, mental, emotional, social, and intellectual development. When kids are always responded to in an affectionate and accommodating way, they learn to feel protected and supported.

Parents constantly provide a safe place where their child can discover the wsorld at large, especially when the child and parent are connected in a close, bonded relationship. The parent can sense and react to the child’s wants and needs.

The alternative, which is an insecure attachment means the child-primary caregiver relationship fails to meet the child’s need for comfort, security, and understanding. Thus, thwarting the child’s developing brain from coordinating itself in the most beneficial ways. This will hinder mental, physical, and emotional development, which will result in learning difficulties and difficulties in forming lasting relationships as adults.

This attachment bond is especially significant when your child is upset, sick, troubled, or hurt. Your toddler will feel more confident in exploring the unknown knowing that you’ll be there to support them. Likewise, they’ll be more likely to confide in you regarding anything that may make them uneasy.

So in short, when your babies develop a secure emotional attachment, they:

  • Develop emotional balance.
  • Build satisfying intimate relationships.
  • Comfortable and enjoy the company of others.
  • Bounce back from disappointment and failure.
  • Feel self-confident and happy with themselves.
  • Communicate their feelings and seek appropriate help where necessary.

Tips for parents to create a secure emotional attachment with their kids

Some babies are easier to care for than others. Note that secure attachment doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience. You should learn to be patient with yourself and your baby as you try to understand and respond to their needs.

Tip 1: It starts with you

Fostering a secure emotional attachment bond starts with you. Everyone communicates better in a quiet and conducive environment. You should endeavor to care for yourself otherwise you can’t care for someone else, even a little person.

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Get help if you feel you’re anxious, depressed, stressed, or finding it difficult to adjust to being a parent or caregiver.
  • You can’t do it all alone, so don’t try to be 'the perfect parent'. They don’t exist. Receive all reasonable offers of support from others. You can talk to your sisters, friends, mother, grandmother, or aunts about raising your child.
  • Take some time away. Go for a walk, spend an hour or so in a coffee shop, go for a yoga class, or do something that makes you happy. This way you can clear your head and have renewed energy.
  • Make time for simply enjoying your baby. Taking care of a child can be demanding and stressful. While the essential tasks are important, you should also learn to just sit quietly and find happy moments while taking care of your infant.

Tip 2: Recognize your child’s distinctive cues

There are no one-size-fits-all when it comes to raising a child. Every child has unique preferences and personalities, even as babies. The trick is to look out for your baby’s distinctive cues and respond appropriately. Your job is to be your baby’s detective and understand what they are trying to say and the best way to resolve them.

  • Understand the type of touch your baby enjoys and how much pleasure they get. The more tender your touch is, the more secure your child becomes.
  • Understand the types of sounds they make and what it means.
  • Watch out for their facial expressions and gestures for cues. This includes a scrunched-up face, an arched back, tightly closed eyes, rubbing of eyes, curled-up fists, and so on.
  • Know the sounds and body movements they enjoy.

Tip 3: Include the dad

Most mothers try to do it all alone, which can be stressful. Try to involve the dads in the secure attachment process. Dads who work full-time cannot easily relate with their kids as emotionally as the mothers. the multitasking required for taking care of a child and relating to them emotionally comes easier to mothers because information moves more easily across the part of the brain called the corpus callosum in women.

Notwithstanding, the roles of the dads cannot be overlooked. Dads can be joint caretakers of their kids.

  • Dads can play with their kids too. They can play peek-a-boo or even mirror the baby’s movements.
  • They can share in the essential tasks of childcare such as bottle-feeding or changing a diaper. You can establish a bond with your baby when you feed them or change their diapers by talking, smiling, or even looking into the baby’s eyes.
  • You can allow the baby to feel the distinct texture of your face and hands. Ensure you touch your baby as much as possible.
  • You can also replicate their cooing sounds and other sounds.

Tip 4: Have fun with your baby

It is important to laugh, talk, smile, and just simply have fun with your child. These actions stimulate positive emotions in your child. They are as important as the food you give your child. Whenever you notice that your child wants to play, don’t push them away. Calmly finish whatever you’re doing and exchange smiles, make faces, cooing sounds, silly body gestures.

Toys, music, and audiobooks can be a helpful start. Even if you don’t know what to do with your child or you feel uncomfortable, with practice you’ll get better. You don’t have to be the perfect parent all the time. Just understand your own child and respond appropriately and you’ll have a happy and secure child.

Reference links

https://www.kidspot.com.au/baby/newborn/newborn-development/building-emotional-attachment-in-babies/news-story/27c70b7ca06284bdf555399e83948169

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/building-a-secure-attachment-bond-with-your-baby.htm

https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/importance-emotional-attachment-toddlers