I recently listened in on a lecture about infant attachment in a sociology class where I learned that secure attachment is developed during the first 6 months of life and happens when a child receives consistent love and care.
Responding to your infant’s cry is a very important part of creating secure parent/baby attachment. I’ve heard some parents talk about not wanting to spoil their children by always picking them up when they cry, etc. According to the research presented in this class, babies cannot be spoiled by receiving too much love. It’s impossible to spoil a baby by responding to their communication with love and affection.
A baby who receives inconsistent attention and care does not develop secure attachment. Insecurely attached children need more attention and act out in ways that demonstrate this neediness. They constantly need to be reassured that they are loved.
An alarming statistic that affects infant attachment is that 54% of women go back to work in the first 6 months after giving birth. This means that many of those babies are not developing a secure attachment with their mothers. (I don’t have a reference for this because I heard it in a lecture. Sorry!)
Be conscientious of how your parenting techniques in these early months will affect your children for the rest of their lives. To help babies grow up to be confident, secure, independent children show lots of affection and meet their needs consistently. Pick them up when they cry, hold them, love them, and enjoy being a mother. Children need to know they are loved and they know that through actions more than anything. If you love them, show them!
[photo from azfamilytherapy.com]