There is no greater feeling than being connected to another. If you are anything like me, having a child who is securely attached to you is your number one goal. Building an attachment with your child is essential to optimal development all throughout life. In this blog post, I am going to share with you how to foster an attachment with your child during the first year of life.
If you want more personalized tips on building an attachment with your newborn you should be here.
Laying the Foundation
In order to form a healthy attachment, the parent must be attuned to the infant’s needs. As a counselor in training, I care more about the parent being attuned to their own needs. In a way, being aware of your own needs first helps you to be aware of your child’s need.
Many new parents struggle with finding time for themselves, and when they do, often times they feel guilty for not being with their child. Many of us have heard the phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” So, parents, especially new parents I encourage you to fill your cup. A happy parent is a happy baby.
Here are my tips to help foster an attachment during the first year of life.
Whenever your baby is awake, cooing, or crying, be responsive to their need. Even if a baby is not crying, they still may want stimulation. You can provide stimulation by simply talking to them, singing to them or cuddling them. Throughout the first year of life, children are in their trust vs mistrust stage of life. The more responsive the parent or caregiver is the likelihood of the child forming a healthy attachment is stronger.
You might enjoy reading: Natural born reflexes that all new moms should know
The three C’s
When responding to the needs of infants my personal mantra is calm, cool, and collected. It’s important for me to remember that if I am calm the infant will eventually calm. In stressful times I try to remain cool and level-headed. Children are dependent on their parent and caregiver to meet their needs while they are unable to care for themselves. The survival of children is in the hands of their caregiver. I’m sure we can all agree mom life is stressful, so find time to collect yourself regularly. By collect, I mean doing something that you enjoy that will keep you motivated through those tough times.
Most of us tend to be super organized or at least like to think of ourselves as such (that’s me haha). So, this tip comes in handy for everybody, mommy, daddy, baby, nana, everyone. Having a routine and creating stability will allow for a more peaceful environment.
Our western culture tends to lack the desire for connection which is ironic because newborns crave connection. I’m going to keep it simple and not get on my soapbox but simply crave connection with your child, don’t feel pressured not to “spoil” them. Babies cannot be spoiled, there is no such thing as too much love.
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Hi, I’m Emily