Infants who feel secure have an easier time developing relationships, feel more comfortable exploring, and are better able to cope with emotions. Read on for tips on building a solid relationship with your infant…
Babies are hard-wired to connect with other people. As a parent/caregiver, you have a very unique role as your baby’s first teacher and model for relationships. When your baby feels safe and secure with you, he might have an easier time developing relationships with other people, feel more comfortable exploring his surroundings, and can learn to cope with his emotions.
What kinds of things can you do each day to support the growing relationship between you and your baby? Here are some suggestions:
- Smile at your baby
- Look in his eyes and connect
- Hold him close to you
- Rock or cuddle him
- Imitate your baby’s cooing and babbling, as if you were having a back and forth conversation
- Talk out loud to your baby during routines like dressing, feeding, play, rest, and diapering (e.g., “Daddy is going to put your shirt on now.” “You like the carrots! I see your smile.” “I see you bouncing to the music! Let’s dance together.” “Let’s get your favorite book and blanket before nap time.” “Mommy is almost done changing your diaper. I know you want to play now.”)
- Sing songs or hum
- Exercise your baby’s arms and legs during bathing and changing
- Provide visual stimulation, like books, mobiles, and a variety of colored objects
- Develop the same routine each day with waking, feeding, naps, play, relaxation, and bedtime
- Respond gently when your baby cries, has fears, or seems frustrated
- Have play time with your baby on the floor, on your lap, outside, etc.
If you’d like to learn more about how to connect with your baby, you can talk to your child’s pediatrician or child care provider, or look into local home visiting programs through Gallatin City County Health Department’s Healthy Gallatin Home Visiting, Thrive’s Partnership Project or Parent Place, and AWARE’s early childhood home visiting services (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, outpatient therapy, or home support services).