From the day your baby is born, it requires daily physical contact to feel secure and loved. Attachment parenting focuses on the infant's emotional needs to build a strong parent/child relationship that will persist for life. Studies have shown that when you hold your baby close, it cries less and is more content. Responding to your child's cries will help the child trust you and learn that he can depend on you to always be there for him.
In the past, it was stressed to let babies cry and not pamper them. Experts believed that self-soothing would promote a sense of independence, unfortunately such a practice usually had the opposite effect. A baby that must self-sooth itself feels a sense of abandonment. The infant may even begin to feel unloved. Trust issues develop because the baby quickly learns that no matter how hard or loudly he cries no one will respond.
Attachment parenting focuses on creating a child that feels loved and is capable of returning love. The foundation for such a lifetime of emotions is laid when the child is an infant. Attachment parenting has been shown to increase an infant's emotional, physical and neurological development. The infant must experience daily interaction that reinforces the sense of protection and predictably.
Three main principles exist that lay the ground work for attachment parenting. Following the basics will help the infant form a deep attachment to its parents.
1. Respond to your baby's cries with reassurance. Let your infant know that you are there for him and love him. Convey such emotions through a soothing touch, soft voice and constant physical contact. When your baby cries, respond. Many mothers opt to carry their infants in slings close to their bodies. Such a practice gives the child reassurance and a sense of safety.
2. Sleep in the same room with your infant so you can promptly respond to his needs immediately. Some parents opt to co-sleep with their infant by affixing a bassinet style sleeper to the side of the bed. The close proximity of the sleeper allows the mother to reach out and touch the infant in the middle of the night. The consistent touching helps sooth the baby.
3. Always feed your baby by holding him close if you do not breast feed. Feeding your infant is a great way to share quality time with each other and let your baby feel secure.
It is suggested that you remain the primary caregiver for your baby. Unfortunately, many mothers must work and will need to place their babies in daycare. If this is your situation, be sure to meet the person who will be the substitute caregiver in your baby's life. Make sure that the caregiver understands the principles of attachment parenting. You should encourage your baby to form a close bond with his caregiver, so he feels safe in your absence.
Attachment parenting will help you build a close, strong relationship with your infant that will last a lifetime. Your baby will grow into a loving individual that shows empathy and deep protective qualities.