Emotional attachment mother-baby: Vital for a great start in life

Although nursery furniture and baby clothing may be top of the list for new parents, it is equally important to be emotionally prepared. Knowing what to expect, how to support your child, and understanding the emotions involved in caring for a newborn are all important to ensure a strong emotional connection between mother and child. This will help you have a great start to life. Dr. Bela Sood, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, shares more information about this topic and how it can be helped.

Emotional attachment starts before birth. Why is it important to have a secure attachment with your baby?

The foundation for a child’s emotional, social and physical growth is laid by the unique relationship a father and mother have with their child. Human babies are more dependent on their parents than any other mammal.

Parents begin to create a space for their baby as soon as they are born. Parents, especially the mother, start to imagine the baby’s personality and wonder if they will love it back. As the mother prepares for birth, there are obvious hormonal and physical changes. However, the awareness of the new baby within the family begins the process of emotional attachment. This gradual process takes place and the baby’s mother will often begin to see the baby as an extension or herself by the time she is born. This emotional attachment is also felt by fathers and other primary caregivers of a baby. They are involved in caring for the baby in various ways, such as cleaning and bathing.

How to create an attachment with your child

Mothers often have multiple ways to ensure that their baby is well taken care of emotionally and physically. A mother can understand the baby’s crying, smile, and sleep patterns and will be able to provide affection, love, and care for her baby. Bonding is the affection between mother and baby that results from mother responding to baby’s needs. (Note: Although this article is about attachment between a mother-baby, attachment can also be applied to other primary caregivers of a baby’s life such as the father or others involved in his care.

The baby will eventually recognize their primary caregivers (most commonly the mom) through many contacts (feeding and bathing, singing, crying, etc. They feel soothed by their presence. Baby’s needs, such as diaper changes, feedings, comfort in pain, and comfort, can be met quickly. A baby will grow securely if all of his/her needs – diaper changes, feedings, comfort when in pain, etc. – are met within a reasonable time. The baby’s positive reactions to the care they are receiving increase caregivers’ trust in their roles and their attachment to the child. The baby’s confidence in caregivers increases as they become more confident and secure in their abilities to soothe, comfort, and care for the baby. As a result, the infant begins to view primary caregivers as reliable, loving, and comforting. The process of infant and primary caregivers falling in love is known as attachment.

Bonding and attachment are crucial for a child’s growth. The dependency of a human baby on caregivers to meet their emotional and physical needs is vital to their development. It is common for mothers to become completely consumed by their baby as the process progresses. They may not have the confidence to care for their baby for a while. Gradually, a baby will develop a positive attachment and confidence in “reading” their needs. This can have far-reaching consequences. Research shows that a child who is well-reared and cared for by parents has a greater chance of becoming a good parent when they are older. The ability to parent is “hardwired” in the baby and strengthens if you provide stable, nurturing care.

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