Attachment is like emotional oxygen for your baby

Attachment is often referred to in the media as though it belongs to a distinct form of parenting as in ‘attachment parenting’. This seems to suggest that attachment parenting is different from ordinary everyday parenting, which is not accurate. It can make things confusing for parents. All the evidence tells us that all babies need to be attached to their parents so that they can grow and thrive. So, attachment which is about an emotional and physical connection between your baby and yourselves as parents, is not a lifestyle option and there’s no choice involved, since the baby needs to be attached in the same way that she needs oxygen to breathe.

How does attachment develop?

Attachment starts from the word ‘go’ from the moment of birth when both parents feel bonded with their baby. As the research tells us, the new born baby is very clever and comes into the world already ‘primed’ for relationships. The baby is a very active partner in connecting with the important people in his or her life, so, parents don’t have to do anything special. Attachment comes out of your loving connection and attunement to your baby. You don’t need to ask a professional if your baby is attached – just do what any loving mother and father do who are besotted with their baby, and your baby will do the rest. It helps to treat the baby like a real person with likes and dislikes just like us adults. Babies like adults, have good days and bad days. Looking at your baby, listening to them, chatting, playing and having fun with your baby is all part of attachment.

Giving your child the best chance in life

Infancy and early childhood is a critical time for the developing brain and personality. When the baby is securely attached this means that they are thought about and loved. This makes life predictable for them, and because they feel safe, they can focus on their development like walking and talking and later learning. So, we can see that positive attachment gives children the greatest gift of all, which is that of a secure base from which they can begin to explore the world.

What is this thing called attachment?