Understanding attachment – What is attachment?

Find out what attachment is, how it develops and what it looks like. See what behaviours babies use to keep their carers close, how the carer starts to develop the attachment relationship with the baby and how the attachment relationship makes the baby feel safe and secure.

Good for looking at

  • Healthy attachment
  • Early relationships
  • Importance of bonding
  • Eye contact
  • Sensitive interactions
  • Picking up babies cues
  • Insecure attachments

Reflect

  • In what ways can understanding attachment theory help us in our daily practice with children?
00:10
What is attachment?
00:12
Attachment is as John Bowlby said the bond which ties
00:17
and it's the bond that ties the mother
00:20
and the baby together.
00:22
It emerges out of evolution.
00:27
It developed in order to protect us from predators.
00:32
It is central to our very survival.
00:36
And what we're beginning to realize now is
00:40
that it's also central to our wellbeing.
00:53
Psychoanalyst John Bowlby's theory
00:55
of attachment is the most influential
00:57
and has generated a lot of research.
01:01
He believed that in order to survive,
01:03
infants need to keep their carer close.
01:07
So babies are born with in-built behaviors designed
01:10
to help make this happen.
01:16
A new baby uses the cry to signal help,
01:19
an in-built behavior and signal to the carer.
01:28
I know, I know, Mommy can feel your tummy.
01:30
As well as crying,
01:32
the baby has other in-built behaviors
01:34
or social signals that help to keep the carer close.
01:38
Babies will cling and love watching faces
01:43
and using eye contact to engage the carer.
01:47
Yeah.
01:51
Watching.
01:53
To start with, the infant is happy
01:55
to direct signals at its mother, father,
01:58
or anyone who is responsive.
02:01
How much is that doggy in the window?
02:03
To develop a secure attachment,
02:05
the carer needs to respond
02:06
to the baby quickly and sensitively.
02:09
Had enough sitting there?
02:11
Sometimes the baby needs comforting.
02:16
But at other times, she wants to socialize.
02:19
Yes, a little smile for Mommy.
02:22
A little smile.
02:23
The baby wants to have a reaction
02:25
to its own behavior.
02:27
It loves to imitate and be imitated.
02:37
Oh.
02:37
When babies start smiling at around six weeks,
02:40
another in-built social signal,
02:42
this encourages the carer to respond very warmly.
02:46
Responding to each other becomes turn taking
02:49
just like a proper conversation.
02:51
What are you doing?
02:52
Are you talking to me?
02:53
Oh, you are.
02:55
What you are saying, eh?
02:58
What are you saying?
02:60
What then?
03:01
Hello, hello.
03:04
That's better isn't it?
03:06
This is the beginning of language development
03:09
and infants who become securely attached are likely
03:12
to develop language skills quickly.
03:18
Babies are born primed to interact
03:20
and communicate with their cares.
03:22
This is essential for their survival.
03:27
We've heard how they communicate their needs
03:29
by crying, grasping, eye contact,
03:32
facial expression, and smiling.
03:40
Attachment is the special relationship
03:42
between babies and their main carers.
03:45
Essentially, it's about developing feelings
03:47
of safety and security by knowing that their needs
03:50
will be met.
03:52
It's been proven that this is central to our wellbeing.

Downloads

Facilitators Guide 1.2 kp.pdf Download
Task Sheet session 1.2 kp.pdf Download