Why is responding to your babys emotional needs important?
Connecting is a valuable building block for healthy attachment in your baby’s first year. When you and your baby are connected, you create a peaceful and reassuring bond. You possess a deep awareness of your baby’s feelings and needs, and you know the best ways to respond to those needs. When your baby experiences this support, she (or he) feels understood and this creates a healthy attachment to you.
By remaining sensitive, you become attuned to your baby’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Your baby gains a true sense of security, which affects the positive development of her nervous system. When she feels connected to those closest to her, she acquires the self-assurance to reach out and connect with others in the world.
One way to do this is an activity called ‘Baby mirroring’ and it’s fun. Firstly and very slowly, copy your baby’s facial expressions and notice her reaction. Then show her some new ones such as sticking out your tongue and encouraging her to copy you. Give lots of positive reinforcement even if she vaguely tries to copy you. This is all done at a slow pace because your baby is learning and each new action takes time for her to see it, process it, enjoy it and finally copy it.
First, notice engagement and closeness cues. Are your baby’s eyes open? Is she looking at your face intently? Is she smiling at you? Does she follow your voice and face as you move around the room? Is she making rooting sounds? Is she hungry? Follow her lead. If she is showing interest in a new toy, keep playing. If she points to a safe object, let her touch it.
Also, look out for disengagement and signs that she needs a change or to stop what you are doing. Does your baby turn or look away? Is she arching her back and pushing away? Does she cry, cough, or frown? Is she yawning? Does she have a glazed-eye look? Does she need quiet time or a nappy change? Is she turning away or fussing? All these signs may mean she needs a break from stimulation, the same surroundings, or company.
Each baby is unique so if you are struggling to connect with your little one, contact Suzy regarding Quick Response or Welcome New Baby to get some valuable tailor-made advice to really connect more with your precious little one.