This puts you in the best position to recognize and fulfill your child’s needs. Parents who give lots of loving care and attention to their children help their babies develop a strong attachment. Affection energizes your child to grow, learn, connect with others, and enjoy life. Here are some ways to bond with your child:
- Respond when your baby cries. Try to understand what he or she is saying to you. You can’t “spoil” babies with too much attention—they need and benefit from a parent’s loving care even when they seem upset.
- Hold and touch your baby as much as possible. You can keep him close with baby slings, pouches, or backpacks (for older babies).
- Use feeding and diapering times to look into your baby’s eyes, smile, and talk to your baby.
- Read, sing, and play peek-a-boo. Babies love to hear human voices and will try to imitate your voice and the sounds you make.
- As your baby gets a little older, try simple games and toys. Once your baby can sit up, plan on spending lots of time on the floor with your baby with toys, puzzles, and books.
The best gift you can give your baby is YOU. The love and attention you give your baby now will stay with him or her forever, and will help your baby grow into a healthier and happier child and adult.
Adapted from the U.S. Department of Education Parent Power: Build the Bridge to Success found at https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/parentpower/booklet.pdf.