"Relationships, not things, make brighter babies." (Dr. William Sears)
The time you give your baby is the best gift of all - better than any toy. During the first year of life your baby depends on you for everything. And while it can be exhausting at the best of times, the gift you're giving your baby is the gift of attachment.
Attachment takes time, and it takes a lot of work. Thankfully Mother Nature has given us a bit of a head start! You might agree when I say how it is near impossible to look away when a baby smiles at you! You also might agree how difficult it is to hear an infant cry (and how frustrating it is when you can't make it stop). That pull, that thing you feel when your baby needs you, is certainly not by accident. We are hard-wired to respond to our babies.
When you respond to your baby in a sensitive and consistent way, attachment-parenting happens. Your baby learns that his cry is an effective method to getting his needs met. Your baby learns how to cry in different ways to represent different needs (while leaving it to you to problem solve!). Your baby learns that when she smiles at you, you smile back, and that makes her feel important. This is attachment-parenting my fellow Mommas, and Mommas-to-be. Always, always respond to your baby. Most importantly in this first year of life. I promise that responding to your baby's every need in that first year of life will not make your baby a needy one. In fact, developmental experts will say the opposite happens. Babies whose needs are met with sensitivity and consistency, grow into strong independent individuals.
Responding to your baby 100% of the time is exhausting and I fully understand (I'm a Momma to 2 daughters)! Just do your best, tell your baby you love them, and that you'll always be there for them. I know it can be stressful and tiresome (especially when you're working on little sleep). How you respond to your baby during times of stress is often related to how you were responded to as an infant/child. We can tackle how to handle that on another blog!
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