order for a child to have a secure base from
which to explore the world, deal with the
stresses of life, and to form meaningful
relationships, infants need to have a primary
adult who cares for them, understanding and
meeting their needs. Usually this caretaker is
the mother, but it can be a father or another
person, so long as that person sustains a
central role in the first three years of the
child's life, the time in which an infant's
brain develops most rapidly.
process is known as attachment, or bonding.
attachment is unique, as infants differ in what
it takes to soothe and to give them pleasure.
The mother who is in touch with her baby will be
aware and follow the lead of the infant. This
early, non-verbal communication between the
mother and her baby is often referred to as a
"dance," as caregiver and infant synchronize
their communications through touching, smiling,
everything is going as it should, an infant will
cry, smile, laugh, and even move his body in
certain ways to communicate his needs to his
mother. Mom responds to the infant?s needs and
the ?dance? between mother and infant is
repeated over and over.
attachments have the following attributes:
caregiver aligns her own internal state with
that of the infant, and communicates this
alignment in nonverbal ways that the baby
understands. Through this communication, a
bond of trust is formed. For example:
baby cries, the mother feels concern and
acts in such a way as to communicate this
concern to the baby.
baby smiles and wants to play, and the
mother smiles back, following the baby's
lead in play.
these mutual interactions, the baby develops a
sense of balance in his body and mind.
comfortable interaction between the baby and
his mother creates a sense of safety within
the baby, inspiring him to want to interact
with others, as well.