Bonding and Attachment go hand-in-hand. If you have a strong bond with your baby, it helps them to form a secure attachment to you. Bonding is about the love and attention you give your baby. While a secure attachment helps to make your baby feel secure and provides a strong foundation for their emotional development and self-esteem.
Here’s a bit more about bonding and attachment from Margaret Harris, Professor of Developmental Psychology.
Development of Attachment
Around the age of 8 months, babies become very distressed when they are away from a familiar family member and they see a stranger. This is known as ‘separation anxiety’. Studies carried out in the 1950s showed that babies and young children, who were separated from their parents, became very distressed. Short periods of separation are soon forgotten as soon as the parent returns but long-term separation, for example by a period of illness in hospital, can have serious consequences such as social withdrawal.
Thanks to research on separation, parents of babies and young children are able to spend as much time as possible with them during a hospital stay so that normal patterns of interaction are maintained and the child continues to feel emotionally secure.