Lighthouse Thoughts

March 1, 2015

Attachment: Establish the Primary Caretaker

   In order to form healthy attachments, you must first establish the primary caretaker.  Your child needs to be able to identify you and your spouse in this role.  For the first month or two, you need to be the one who provides, food, comfort, soothing, affection, etc.  During this time, nest with your new baby. Limit outings and establish a calm, predictable routine.
Limit Visitors. Your friends, neighbors, mother, mother-in-law can’t wait to meet the new addition. Initially you need to limit visitations, as you establish yourself as the primary caretaker. Introducing too many people, too fast can disrupt this process and create indiscriminate attachments or indiscriminate friendliness. (Where children are not able to differentiate parents from other adults or understand stranger danger)
If you need help, let friends and family wash dishes, do laundry, make dinner, etc. but limit direct contact with baby while you work on strengthening your relationship with baby.
Spend quality and large quantities of time with your baby. Be diligent in your efforts as this is essential to your child’s emotional health and the attachment process. Once you are established yourselves as the primary caretaker, then you can extend outings and allow secondary caregivers more time with baby.

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