The moment of birth marks the end of an interdependent, physical connection between mother and child. This connection nurtured the baby, providing everything necessary for growth and development. As this first attachment ends, a second, equally important connection begins. This next connection provides what babies need to survive and thrive in the human world. From birth until about 5 or 6 months your baby will be in the first stage of attaching to his or her significant caregivers – You!
Stage 1 is called indiscriminate attachment and lasts from birth to approximately 5 to 6 months. Stage 1 babies respond to most caring adults, if the babies’ needs are met promptly. Crying normally persists for a moment even after babies get a response as their neurological system registers this change.
In Stage 1 of attachment, respond quickly to your baby’s cry. Begin to differentiate what cries mean, so you can modify your response to the needs of your baby. Hold and cuddle your baby. Play with his or her fingers and toes. Talk and sing to your baby while diapering, nursing, and caring for him or her.
Plan a special time each day for “falling in love” with your baby all over again. In a quiet moment gaze into your baby’s eyes and really connect. Talk to your baby and listen intently. He or she will be responding to you and looking forward to these special times.