Parenting Resources

Secure Infant Attachments Encourage Healthy Friendships

Children who have experienced secure attachments during infancy are more likely to develop healthy friendships later in childhood.  (Groh AM, Fearon RP, et al.  The significance of attachment security for children’s social competence with peers:  a meta-analytic study. Attachment and Human Development. 2014; 16(2):103-136.)

Since they have learned to trust you and communicate with you, they will be able to trust and communicate with others as they grow.  So the best foundation parents can provide their infants is to help them develop strong emotional attachments early in life. Here are just a few ways that help infants bond with their parents – most will probably come naturally to you as you enjoy your baby.

  • Respond to your baby’s nonverbal cues.  Smile at her when she smiles.
  • Talk with your baby with your baby face to face
    • Remember to set aside your cell phone (except for scheduled times during the day).
    • Pause during your conversations with your baby to allow him to respond back to you.
    • Make faces and see if your baby will try to copy you.
  • Daily routines help your infant feel secure in her environment.
  • Have fun and enjoy your baby!  Read to him, laugh with him, cuddle him.
  • Take time for yourself so you have emotional energy to invest in your baby.  Take a walk, take a deep breath, ask others for help.

For information on helping older kids develop healthy friendships: