7 ways to Encourage Attachment with your Infant
Even if you’ve been parenting your adopted child since birth, it’s a good idea to consider what ways you are encouraging the development of a secure attachment. Newborns have had nine months to bond to their mother in the womb. Babies can hear as early as 23 gestation. Breast milk tastes like amniotic fluid! When an infant is born, they expect to be birthed into an environment they are familiar with. An inevitable aspect of adoption is that your newborn has to adjust to a life full of unfamiliar voices and sounds.
If you are planning to adopt an older infant, these ideas will work for you to! In fact, all of the parenting techniques below can be applied to a child of any age with some age appropriate modifications.
- Attend to their needs quickly
- Never worry that you are “spoiling” them
- Avoid systematic sleep training techniques that involve crying, attended or unattended, that do not consider the child’s individual needs
- Hold them often!
- Feed in a nurturing environment
- Do not rush bottle weaning
- Sucking releases calming hormones
- Hold and make eye contact while feeding
- Night-time parenting is important
- Consider keeping the infant in a bassinet in your room
- Facilitates attunement, quicker response time
- Helps child feel physically safer
- Reduce or restrict the number of caregivers, particularly with basic needs activities such as feeding and bathing
I think most of these tips are relevant to ALL parents, regardless of how your children have come to you.
What bonding and attachment techniques has your child enjoyed?
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