Infant bonding and attachment to the caregiver

Infant bonding and attachment to the caregiver

“The bonding and early life attachment between the infant and caregiver is a dynamic, bidirectional process involving caregiver nurturing of the infant, as well as complementary infant behavior that elicits parental care. Attachment appears to have a dual function.

The first function is to ensure the infant remains close to the caregiver in order to receive necessary care for survival. Interestingly, animal research has shown that both nurturing and painful stimuli associated with the caregiver support attachment.

Secondly, the quality of attachment and its associated sensory stimuli organize the brain to define the infant’s cognitive and emotional development. Specifically, the patterning and quality of care regulate the infant’s brain function and behavioral expression that determines long-term emotional regulation.

These issues, presented within an historical view of infant attachment, highlight the importance of integrating human and animal research in understanding infant care.”

Read the whole Paper“Infant bonding and attachment to the caregiver: Insights from basic and clinical science.” 2011.

By Regina Sullivan, Ph.D,  Rosemarie Perry, BS, Aliza Sloan, MA, Karine Kleinhaus, MD, and  Nina Burtchen, MD, MSc

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