Babies and Discriminate Attachment

June 13, 2016

During stage 2 of attachment, called discriminate attachment, babies spend a lot of their time beginning to differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar caregivers. This stage lasts from 5 – 6 months until about 11 – 12 months.

This stage of attachment finds babies smiling, babbling, cooing, and responding more quickly to familiar adults. Babies show a definite preference for familiar faces and brighten considerably when a familiar faces comes into view. Unlike the first stage, where almost any sensitive caregiver would do, stage 2 babies are quick to indicate with whom they would like to interact.

The following strategies will support your baby in this stage of attachment:

* Continue to respond promptly to crying and calls for help or interaction to help your baby learn that he or she can really depend on you.

* Describe what you are doing to your baby as you do it. When you can, wait for a signal from your baby that indicates that he or she is ready to be picked up or to open his or her mouth. Look
for an indication that the baby is aware of what is about to happen

* Establish an arrival and departure routine now, so it can comfort your child when he or she reaches the next attachment stage.

*Encourage the use of a security item or a favorite toy as a support for transitions.

*Play peek-a-boo games to help your baby learn that you do re-appear. These games help your baby learn that you always come back.

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