Bit by bit the bond between you and your child grows through the care, affection, attention and time you give him.
Photo: Sarah Witty
In order to grow, a child needs to develop a bond of trust with one or more people who are sensitive to his needs and who reassure him when he is afraid. This bond known as “attachment” is created through the daily care, affection and attention you give to your baby and the time you spend with him.
Sense of confidence
Your baby sends you signals (sounds, crying, arm and leg movements, frowns, etc.) to express his needs. You learn to understand them as you try to respond. It is important to pay close attention to these signals to determine the appropriate response to his needs.
Your response should also be prompt and reassuring for your baby, especially when he is crying. That’s how he’ll gain confidence in you. Your baby will know you’re there for him.
For example, if your baby begins to cry, you can pick him up to comfort him. If your baby is colicky, you can take him for a walk in the baby carrier. It’s a good way to soothe colic and build trust with your child.
If your baby has confidence in you, he will have confidence in himself. This sense of confidence is necessary for your child to explore his world. He will feel safe if he knows his parent is there to help and comfort him in a moment of trouble. Some more sensitive children need more time to feel confident.
Since children gain confidence from the people that take care of them regularly, it’s normal for them to react against separation from their parents. It is usually around the age of nine months that toddlers have a difficult time coping with separation.
When you’re back together with your child, he may show he was unhappy about the separation or instead show his joy at you being there again. After a bit of time close to his parents, he will feel safe and confident again.
- Hold him often in your arms, especially when he cries.
- Take time to play and talk with him.
- Learn to get to know him and to take his personality into account.