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Forming Early Attachments
By on July 12th, 2010

Forming Early AttachmentsAttachment. It seems to be the new catch-phrase of child development specialists, but what does it actually mean? According to Dr. Bruce Perry, “the attachment bond has several key elements: (1) an attachment bond is an enduring emotional relationship with a specific person; (2) the relationship brings safety, comfort, and pleasure; (3) loss or threat of loss of the person evokes intense distress.”

Attachment is crucial to the brain formation and emotional stability of every child, especially in the age range of newborn to six months. Many children who are adopted as infants have not received that initial bond of attachment with their parents that allows them to feel secure and loved, and as a result can have a variety of symptoms such as hyper-reactivity, inability to be soothed, or abnormal eating habits. However, our God is a healer and restorer of the breach, and every bond that has been broken can be mended!

If you are a parent thinking of adopting a newborn or infant, here are some tips that will help you and your new little one bond in this stage of development:

  • pray over your baby often
  • hold your baby in your arms or a sling for 6-8 hours a day chest to chest
  • learn your baby’s cues and respond to them quickly
  • read, sing, and talk to your baby
  • praise your baby often
  • play lap games
  • give him or her a baby massage
  • spend extended periods gazing into your baby’s eyes, especially during feeding times
  • kiss him or her often
  • dance with your baby
  • do not allow your baby to have extended periods of crying out alone
  • talk to your baby when you are not in sight
  • be present when your baby wakes up from naps or sleeping
  • smile and laugh with your baby often

Every child needs love, care, and special attention to grow up emotionally confident and independent. Depending on the age of your infant and/or the life circumstances he or she came from, it may take a longer or shorter amount of time to form a lasting bond of attachment. Yet, regardless of the amount of time and energy it takes, it is worth it. So lavish your baby with love!

To read more on attachment, you can visit Dr. Bruce Perry’s website.

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July 12th, 2010
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