Bonding & Beyond
The Parent-Baby Partnership
From the very beginning, your Baby desires your sensitivity and loving companionship. His subtle signals invite you to share each moment as he gazes at you, perhaps uttering sounds of contentment as his tiny lips move. You respond by talking ... how's my beautiful boy today ... you will then pause and wait ... watch and listen ... allowing for Baby's response, which could be him making little squirming gestures and opening his mouth ... you take your turn again to respond ... oh, I can see your lovely eyes, and here is a kiss for your perfect little nose ... you pause and wait for Baby to take another turn ... and so, the reciprocal sharing of enjoyment between Mum/Dad and Baby continues with sensitivity to Baby's needs (Click here to listen to mother and baby sharing enjoyment as they 'talk to each other'). Gradually, from this harmony of interactions develops your loving partnership. You and Baby become equal partners - each having a role to play in developing a loving relationship.
Below is a diagram that outlines the development of a positive (happy) parent-baby relationship based on the 'turn-taking' of interactions - driven by the baby's desire to be loved and the parent's desire to provide a loving protective environment.
As a baby continues to grow and develop and parents are learning about her unique little mannerisms, the parent-baby interactions are continually being adjusted and 'fine-tuned'. Research shows that this enables the harmony/synchrony of the relationship to be maintained, continually providing the baby with a feeling of security - vital to future wellbeing and development.
Note: The research associated with the development of the Bond With Baby program showed that mothers who were given information about the importance of their interactions and integrated the program's activities into the day with their babies significantly increased their mother-to-baby emotional attachment (bond). There was also an increase in the mother - baby harmony (reciprocity) over a 5-week period. In contrast, results showed that mothers of the control group (those who were not given the information and activities of the program) decreased their emotional attachment to their baby as did the mother - baby reciprocity.