Theories Of Attachment: The Importance Of Bonding With Infants And Toddlers

1217 words - 5 pages

To infants, the world is a brand new experience full of new sights and sounds, and their parents are their first teacher who educates them about the new environment around them. In addition, they learn about their surroundings through touch which is an important part of the way infants observe this strange new world. Babies and toddlers learn about the way relationships are formed through becoming attached to their parents and bonding with them. Infants and toddlers love hugs, kisses, gentle caresses from their mom and dad as well as being sung and read to at night. Looking at parents bond with their children is a beautiful display of love and affection between parent and child. Seeing their infant smile back at them and be happy when their parents walk into the room are signs of healthy attachment. In order for infants to feel safe and secure they need to form a loving bond between their parents and caregivers. Healthy signs of attachment are eye contact with parents, feeling secure when parents leave the room, feeling close to their parents, the infant or toddler is friendly, and is not afraid to explore their world without their parents.

The first components of healthy attachment for children and toddlers are their ability to make eye contact with their parents and feeling secure when their parents leave the room. According to an article on Kidshealth.com it states that, “Eye-to-eye contact provides meaningful communication at close range” (Bonding with Your Baby, 2011). The first face an infant sees is their mother’s face. As a result, babies take cues from their mothers and fathers facial expressions and feel safe when they are in their parent’s arms. According to an article in the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health it suggests that, “The caregiver is a safe refuge, a source of comfort and protection, and serves as a secure base from which the infant can explore” (n/a, 2011). When a baby feels protected, they learn that their world is safe and sound. In addition, they feel secure even when their parents leave the room. Infants and toddlers need to know that their parents are there to keep them safe and provide them with a loving nurturing environment.

The next two components of healthy attachment between parents and children are the child’s ability to be affectionate towards their parents as well as other caregivers. When children are shown love through hugs and kisses, and being paid attention to, and are well taken care of, they are able to form a loving bond with their parents. In addition, they also form a bond with other caregivers besides their parents. Perry (2011) writes that, “When the infant has attentive, responsive, and loving care giving, this genetic potential is expressed. And as this infant becomes a toddler and more people-family, friends, peers-enter his life, he will continue to develop this capacity to have healthy and strong emotional relationships” (Perry, 2011). Not only will an infant or toddler have love...

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