This video requires a membership to the Siren Clip Library. Please log in if you are a member or purchase a subscription.

Attachment in Practice – Pre-attachment

0-8 weeks old: In built behaviors and carers responses. John Bowlby – keeping the carer close. Inbuilt behavior from birth. Crying and carer’s response and general responsiveness. Eye contact, conversations and smiling.

Good for looking at

  • John Bowlby
  • Keeping carer close
  • Inbuilt behaviours
  • Birth
  • Crying
  • Carer’s response
  • General responsiveness
  • Eye contact
  • Proto conversations
  • Smiling
00:06
You just rest up here, look.
00:09
Psychoanalyst John Bowlby's
00:11
theory of attachment
00:13
is the most influential, and has generated
00:16
a lot of research.
00:18
He believed that in order to survive,
00:20
infants need to keep their carer close.
00:24
So babies are born with inbuilt behaviors
00:26
designed to help make this happen.
00:29
Babies are in the sense almost
00:30
at the mercy of what goes on inside of the body.
00:34
You get hungry, you get cold, you get wet,
00:37
you get full of wind.
00:38
All these sorts of things
00:40
that you have no understanding of
00:42
and the only way you can react to it,
00:44
is by saying very loudly, "Something isn't right here."
00:49
And what you hope is that your parent
00:52
will be able to work out what it is
00:55
that isn't right and put it right as quickly as possible.
01:01
The new baby uses the cry to summon help,
01:05
an inbuilt behavior and signal to the carer.
01:09
There now, how we doin'?
01:16
Responding to the baby signals sensitively
01:19
is how the attachment process will begin.
01:25
There now, what have you got?
01:27
Hey?
01:28
What have you got?
01:30
Hey?
01:32
Babies are born with different temperaments.
01:36
It's not always easy to work out the best response.
01:40
I can feel it.
01:41
I know.
01:42
I know, Mummy can feel your tummy.
01:45
As well as crying,
01:46
the baby has other inbuilt behaviors,
01:49
or social signals, that help to keep the carer close.
01:53
Baby will cling and love watching faces,
01:57
What are you up to?
01:58
and using eye contact to engage the carer.
02:01
Yeah?
02:03
Feet, yeah?
02:06
Watching?
02:08
To start with, the infant is
02:10
happy to direct signals at its mother, father,
02:13
or anyone who is responsive.
02:16
Oh, dear.
02:17
But the main carer is usually the mother.
02:20
Her instincts make her especially receptive
02:23
to the babies inbuilt behaviors.
02:27
Yeah.
02:28
There's evidence
02:29
that even in the first couple of weeks,
02:31
new babies can distinguish their mother from other adults.
02:37
To develop a secure attachment,
02:39
the carer needs to respond to the baby
02:41
quickly and sensitively.
02:43
Have you had enough of sitting there?
02:45
Oh.
02:46
Sometimes the baby needs comforting,
02:48
We're gonna have a look out.
02:51
but at other times, she wants to socialize.
02:54
Yes, a nice smile for Mummy?
02:57
A nice smile.
02:58
The baby wants to have a reaction
02:60
to his own behavior.
03:02
It loves to imitate and be imitated.
03:12
When babies start smiling, at around 6 weeks,
03:14
another inbuilt social signal,
03:17
this encourages the carer to respond very warmly.
03:21
Responding to each other becomes turn taking,
03:23
just like a proper conversation.
03:26
What are you doing?
03:28
Are you talking to me?
03:29
Oh, you are.
03:32
What are you saying, eh?
03:35
What are you saying?
03:36
What?
03:38
I know.
03:41
I know, that's better, isn't it?
03:44
This is the beginning of language development,
03:46
and infants who become securely attached