One subject I am learning about in my course is primary-carer infant attachment. This is about the relationship between the primary-carer (most commonly the mother) and the infant in the first year of the child’s life.
The more I learn about it, the more amazed I am at the complexity of this relationship. There is so much fantastic and current research on the subject, because what has been discovered is how important this relationship is to the child, and basically sets the foundation for all future relationships in the child’s life.
All this learning has made me reflect on my own relationship with my son, and has made me much more aware of the real impact my actions directly have on him. Motherhood, what I am starting to realise isn’t easy, and for a lot it doesn’t come naturally. It is a skill you acquire, and build on day by day, and there is no one rule that works for everyone.
Some really important points I have learnt is that mothers are too hard on themselves, and don’t trust their own instincts. There is so much information out there- books, tv shows, websites, family and friends. It can be so overwhelming, and hard to know what is best for you. From my experience, and from what I have learnt, a baby only needs a few things to form a strong attachment to you. A baby needs love, patience, consistency, nutrition, good hygiene, and a primary carer who is sensitive, and quick to respond when a baby needs you.
You would think this goes without saying, but it is a struggle for some mothers, and to be honest it takes time to really get to know your baby, and be able to read the cues. I can honestly say it took about 2 months for me to get into a rhythm and really start understanding my baby.
I am no expert, but from what I have experienced and learning is that the primary-carer infant attachment is a bond like no other, and a very special one. It should be encouraged, and embraced, and primary-carers should be supported to from this strong bond. So rather than judge or criticise, try and give reassurance and positive feedback to the mothers and primary carers in your life.