Links and Attachment

On sait maintenant à quel point le lien d’attachement est important. Mais comment l’établir?

Source: Liens et attachement


The benefits of a secure attachment

A baby who develops a stable and secure attachment relationship with his parents in the early years of his life is more likely to be well equipped to handle difficult situations throughout his life. Instead, a baby who could not form this close relationship with significant adults may struggle to adapt to group life. The attachment is even essential to the survival of the human being.

Although the first years of life are very important to establish a link attachment, be aware that built up over a lifetime.

A strong attachment so has several advantages:

  • The child will feel loved and safe. When he grows up, the child will feel that he is worthy of affection and it will have a positive perception of others. It will be easier for him to reach out to others, to explore their environment and new experiences. On the contrary, children with insecure attachment will be reluctant to love and be loved. It will react badly to compliments and rewards. For example, it will deny that it makes the hugs .
  • The baby will know that he can rely on his parents to meet their needs. It will have more confidence in him when explore the world around him and will more confidence to others. By cons, a child with an inadequate attachment bond will tend to pull away from those around him, as if he had given up the idea that we can meet their needs. It might even develop distrust of adults.
  • A child who feels secure is easier to learn and thrive on the engine and intellectually.
  • The child will have a greater ability to adapt to different situations in life, because it will feel supported by his family and will be better able to control their emotions in stressful situations. For example, the separation from the adult when he starts attending the daycare or school will be easier.
  • The attachment will facilitate the learning of social skills and the sharing of emotions. A child with a secure attachment also manifest more empathy and cooperation with others. This will help to form strong relationships with other children, educators, daycare or teachers at school. In the absence of such a link attachment, a child will live more conflicts with children his age because he socialize only to meet its own needs. Indeed, children with insecure attachment will look much the focus . He will have difficulty to share adult attention and to admit his faults. It could even be manipulative and hostile when he does not get what he wants. So it will be more likely to have problems with behavior and delinquency older.
  • As an adult, he will have more chance to live healthy relationships and be satisfied at work. On the contrary, the person without secure attachment will be more likely to experience dissatisfaction in their couple relationships and even domestic violence. Labour relations will risk also to be a source of conflict.

How to foster a secure attachment

The first of a baby attachment link is generally established with his mother, but the bond he shares with his father is just as important. A bond of attachment can also be formed with an aunt, a grandparent or a teacher. The one with his parents, however, remains the most important.

Some behaviors favor the creation of an attachment link:

Before 18 months, a child is unable to make a whim, because his brain is not developed enough. If a baby cries to be taken is that it needs to be reassured. So you do not spoil your child when you respond to their needs. You rather teach him that he can count on you.
  • Meet the needs of your baby with affection, tenderness and consistency. For example, if your baby cries , try to give him what he needs, whether drinking, changing layer or a hug.
  • Respond quickly to your baby’s crying. This will allow him to feel less stress. With time, you learn to recognize the signals of your baby and you will respond more effectively to their needs. Your baby will know and he can count on you to ensure comfort and safety.
  • Interact with your baby tenderly. Rock her, hold it in your arms and talk to him gently.
  • Accept the child as it is, with its strengths and weaknesses. This will allow him to feel that he can be loved and promote the development of good self-esteem .

Remember that your baby needs only a good parent, not a perfect parent. So do not worry about mistakes you might make. As your baby will know that you can count on most of the time he will adapt.

If you feel unable to care for your baby, or because you live a depression or for any other reason, seek help from your spouse or relative. Consult your doctor or contact your CLSC about the services available in your area. Similarly, if you do not understand the needs of your baby despite your ability to care, consult your doctor. He feels perhaps health problems.

The importance of touch in development

Source: The importance of touch in development

Note: Very large bibliography

Touch has emerged as an important modality for the facilitation of growth and development; positive effects of supplemental mechanosensory stimulation have been demonstrated in a wide range of organisms, from worm larvae to rat pups to human infants.


Babies cry for many reasons, and it is important to learn your baby’s personality and his or her different cries so that you can respond to them. There are cries that mean, “I need affection,” “I’m hungry,” “I’m in pain,” “I’m uncomfortable,” “I’m tired and cranky and don’t know how to get to sleep,” and still others that are simply “venting” all the stress the baby takes in, adjusting to the world of non-stop stimulation.

Each cry can and should be responded to appropriately. Each baby will differ in his or her need for physical affection. Some need to be held nearly all the time for the first months before crawling. Others are curious and independent almost immediately. To force an infant one way or another is to disempower her and disrupt the flow of chi she needs to become strong, healthy, and independent.

Some people think that babies who cry always need to be calmed and shushed, or, conversely, should be left alone to cry it out. Neither is true. Infants should never be left alone to cry, unheeded, but sometimes they need to cry in the safety of a parent’s arms, without being shushed, to discharge stress. After a certain period, when they sense they are being attended to, they calm and usually sleep much more deeply.

QUOTE 13_n

To be responsive to your baby, read up on the art of “Active Listening.” When you talk to your baby with a listening heart, he or she knows it and you can see the quality of their cries change. Locking with you eye-to-eye, you will see your baby moving her mouth as if trying to speak.

This is one of the most important reasons for pregnant women to massage their bellies, and to massage their infants regularly after birth. You learn, as nothing else can teach you, what your baby needs, and his cries and fusses don’t distress you so much as inform you of what you need to do to respond appropriately and thus allow your baby to grow and blossom like a well-tended flower in your garden.

My book, Infant Massage, a Handbook for Loving Parents, was the first, comprehensive book to introduce infant massage to the West. The nonprofit organization I founded in 1979, the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), has instructors in 71 countries. You can find an instructor and take a class — a great way to learn, have your questions answered, and be with other parents who value the crucial “fourth trimester” bonding process.


If you respond in the right way, you needn’t worry about when to wean, when to potty train, and all the other advice people want to give you. You will become an expert on your child, and you will naturally know and understand what she is ready to do and when. This gives you the confidence to listen to the experts and then go by your inner sense of what is right.

If you want to create a transition environment for your baby that imitates aspects of the in utero experience, you may want to get a baby pack that keeps your infant close to your body so he can hear your heartbeat and feel your warmth, your breathing, your rhythms.


Some pastel organza material, draped over the cradle, can soften the light. Putting a warm cap on her head when going outdoors will prevent heat from escaping from her head. A baby monitor can help alert you to your baby’s sounds when she is sleeping and you are in another room. Other aids include a heartbeat simulator for the baby’s cradle and setting the volume low on your stereo or television.


Some parents want to try family co-sleeping, which is a much debated practice, particularly in the U.S. We practiced family co-sleeping until my youngest was around five years old. After doing a lot of research on this subject, I have concluded that the tales of accidental suffocation by “overlying” are real, but seem to be related to parents who co-sleep for convenience, who don’t take the precaution of removing any fluffy items from the bed, and/or they smoke.

When and if obstetricians and pediatricians give any information to new parents, co-sleeping is roundly discouraged. Unless expecting and new parents take the time to research the subject and 1) prepare, 2) find out what is the very best way for families to sleep together with a newborn, parents will be frightened and reject the notion, not realizing that sleeping together can reduce parental sleep deprivation and infant fussiness, irritability, and crying.

Dr. James McKenna, Director of the Center for Behavioral Studies of Mother-Infant Sleep at Notre Dame University says, “It is a curious fact that in Western societies the practice of mothers, fathers, and infants sleeping together came to be thought of as strange, unhealthy, and dangerous. Western parents are taught that ‘co-sleeping’ will make the infant to dependent on them, or risk accidental suffocation. Such views are not supported by human experience worldwide.”


After having observed how families in India sleep together in a very small space, I wanted to do that with my family. This arrangement, in my experience, allowed me to breastfeed my babies without having to fully awaken. The warmth of my body, my heartbeat and odor, was just right for them. We could respond quickly to cries, chokes, or other needs. The babies could nurse frequently, giving them more antibodies to fight disease and helping them transition from womb to room.

Dr. McKenna goes on to say, “Human infants need constant attention and contact with other human beings because they are unable to look after themselves. Unlike other mammals, they cannot keep themselves warm, move about, or feed themselves until relatively late in life. It is their extreme neurological immaturity at birth and slow maturation that makes the mother-infant relationship so important.”

Dr. John Medina, in his book Brain Rules for Baby, says, “During the attachment process, a baby’s brain intensely monitors the caregiving it receives. It is essentially asking such things as “Am I being touched? Am I being fed? Am I safe?” If the baby’s requirements are being fulfilled, the brain develops one way; if not, genetic instructions trigger it to develop in another way. It may be a bit disconcerting to realize, but infants have their parents’ behaviors in their sights virtually from the moment they come into this world. It is in their evolutionary best interests to do so, of course, which is another way of saying that they can’t help it. Babies have nowhere else to turn.”

One of my fondest memories is when we were sleeping with our little ones in a family bed. Once, in the middle of the night, my 18-month-old daughter awakened to nurse. She looked up into my face and patted my cheek. “I like you, Mommy, I like you,” she said, then closed her eyes to sleep with a sweet smile on her face. Every time I remember that moment my heart fills with love, joy, and gratitude that this child has come into my life. Now that she is an adult with her own little girl, I share these memories with her and it still has the effect of bringing us close.

Dr. McKenna agrees that this types of interaction is beneficial for both parents and infants. He says, “Studies have shown that separation of the mother and infant has adverse consequences. Anthropological considerations also suggest that separation between mother and infant should be minimal. Western societies must consider carefully how far and under what circumstances they want to push infants away from the loving and protective co-sleeping environment. Infants’ nutritional, emotional, and social needs as well as maternal responses to them have evolved in this environment for millennia.”

Often a baby’s crying can lead to and respond to marital discord. Dr. Medina goes on to say, “If the infant is marinated in safety— an emotionally stable home— the system will cook up beautifully. If not, normal stress-coping processes fail. The child is transformed into a state of high alert or a state of complete collapse. If the baby regularly experiences an angry, emotionally violent social environment, his vulnerable little stress responders turn hyper-reactive, a condition known as hyper-cortosolism. If the baby is exposed to severe neglect, like the Romanian orphans, the system becomes under-reactive, a condition known as hypo-cortisolism (hence, the blank stares). Life, to quote Bruce Springsteen, can seem like one long emergency.”

“Infants younger than 6 months old can usually detect that something is wrong. They can experience physiological changes— such as increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones— just like adults. Some researchers claim they can assess the amount of fighting in a marriage simply by taking a 24-hour urine sample of the baby. Babies and small children don’t always understand the content of a fight, but they are very aware that something is wrong.”

Some parents reject co-sleeping because they are concerned about its impact on their sex lives. We found other rooms in the house suited quite nicely. This may not be an option everyone chooses, but I encourage you to read up on it before deciding. It can contribute immensely to the well-being of your whole family. My favorite book on the subject is The Family Bed by Tine Thevenin. I very much recommend Dr. Medina’s book, Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five.

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Bonding is a matter of reciprocal interaction. It depends upon a parent stimulating the infant with appropriate cues or signals, which trigger a response in the baby. The infant’s cues or signals then trigger further involvement by the parent, including eye contact, smiling, speech sounds, and body movements. The baby or young child with developmental impairments or delays sometimes cannot respond in the ordinary manner to parental cues. Interactional synchrony thus may be inhibited, which can lead to the parent feeling out of touch with her child. In addition, parents of babies with special needs are often overwhelmed by all of the information they need to absorb, by the therapies they are expected to carry out, and by the double bind of grieving and celebrating a new baby at the same time.

Parents’ emotional reactions to the discovery of a special need in their child differ greatly. They can include confusion, guilt, anger, wishful thinking, depression, intellectualization, and acceptance. These natural feelings can overlap and recur as parent and child adjust to their life together and to each new stage of the baby’s development.

Infant massage can be wonderful bonding tool for parents and children with special needs. While physiological benefits to accrue, the focus and goal of infant massage is the interaction and connection of these two people. It is something you do with your child rather than to your child. It is not another therapy but an opportunity to share your love. A daily massage connects parent and baby in a way that no other type of interaction can match. Babies with special needs benefit from this intimacy even more than other babies. Because some avenues of communication may not be open to them, their parents ned to know them well; the way the body feels when tense or relaxed, the look and feel of the abdomen when gassy or not, the difference between pain and tension. Often such parents need to be acutely aware of their infants’ bodies because life-threatening infections can arise. A parent who is attuned to the look and feel of her baby’s body at all times will more likely be able to detect toxicity in the early stages.

Of course, I cannot tell you how to best use massage with your child in various challenging situations since there are too many types of challenges, and within those categories may different babies with varying needs. What I can do is give you some general information and hints to start with, so you can then approach your baby’s physician, occupational therapist, or physical therapist with a basic knowledge of infant massage.

Before beginning a massage routine with your baby, check with the baby’s door and therapists. They will help you design the massage and relaxation sequence to suit your baby’s needs. Then, trust yourself. You know your child better than anyone else. You are his or her specialist, and a companion in a way to one else ever can be.

Developmental Challenges

Developmental challenges such as cerebral palsy manifest in many different ways. The child’s physical therapist will use procedures that either inhibit (relax) or facilitate (stimulate) muscle tone according to the child’s state. Inhibition lessens muscle tone for babies with stiff, tense, tight musculature. Facilitation increases muscle tone for “floppy” muscles.

Inhibitory techniques may include slow stroking, gentle shaking, positioning, rocking, and neutral warmth while facilitating techniques may include icing, brushing, positioning, pressure, and vibration. The massage strokes in my book Infant Massage, a Handbook for Loving Parents, can be modified to either inhibit or facilitate. To inhibit, use long, slow, sweeping strokes and Touch Relaxation. To facilitate, use a more vigorous stroking and more playful interactions such as bouncy rhymes and songs.

The massage can be delivered in the same sequence as the “regular” massage, with the following changes. Stroking the bottom of the foot often causes a reaction of extension and tightening of the leg. If this occurs, in “Under Toes,” “Ball of Foot,” and “Thumb Press,”changes the stroke so that pressure is exerted on the outside rather than on the balls of the feet. The “Thumbs to Sides” stroke on the tummy is particularly helpful in improving and stimulating diaphragmatic breathing. Babies with developmental challenges often show signs of resistance when the shoulders are stroked. For the chest, begin with “Resting Hands,” then try just one stroke, such as the “Butterly” stroke across the chest, which includes the shoulder, and gradually increase the number of strokes as the child’s stimulation threshold increases. For the face, the “Smile” strokes and lip closure promotes good swallowing. These are particularly good for babies who drool and breathe through the mouth. The facial massage is an excellent prelude to oral stimulation and feeding therapy for the child who is sensitive around the mouth. When doing the “Colic Relief Routine,” do not hold the knees against the stomach for more than a count of five, so as not to inhibit respiration.

Babies who are tactile defensive — that is, hypersensitive and reactive to skin contact — benefit from firm pressure and stroking. Warm baths and brisk rubbing with a terrycloth towel before massage can increase acceptance of skin-to-skin massage.

According to cerebral palsy experts, a slow, firm stroke down the center of the back can increase brain organization. Do not stroke up the back against hair growth.

If your baby has a shunt or other type of bypass, her physical therapist will be able to tell you how much pressure is appropriate and how to work around these areas, even if at first the only thing you can do is use the “Resting Hands” technique on another part of the body such as the legs.

If your baby has had surgery, you can use massage, holding techniques, and “Touch Relaxation” with other parts of his body, with the support of his physician. Your loving touch and the security of it can be very important to your baby’s recovery.

© 2015 Vimala McClure

Babies Need Real Interaction –

Babies Need Real Interaction –

But what are they learning exactly? With my girls, the experience definitely seemed more stimulating than simply watching. They were experiencing “interactivity.” And aren’t we taught to believe that interactivity is a good thing? But look under the hood of interactivity, and it gets complicated. Does all interactivity equate with the one-on-one social interaction that science tells us is so important for brain development? Or are these little tots just learning about cause-and-effect? “