Babywearing can help develop the parent-child bond with any baby, and it is an important tool in the adoptive parent-child relationship. It is especially important in adoption to develop that child-centered attachment that reassures a child that their cries will be heard and their needs answered. The physical closeness that babywearing brings helps to develop those attachment bonds that become a parent-child relationship even when the parent did not give birth to the child.
Disruptions an adopted child may have experienced can result in the child having difficulty building a trusting relationship. If the adopted child has been through trauma, abuse, or other disorienting situations, attachment disorder can be severe. Babywearing is one of the ways that child can be held close, talked to, and reassured that their parent loves them and will care for them. A baby carrier makes that physical closeness easier.
Babywearing for Bonding
Not all babies and children are the same. Especially when your child has had experiences out of your control or even outside your knowledge before you came together, you don’t necessarily know what your child brings to the relationship. Who is this? Babywearing doesn’t just help your child. The closeness can help you learn more about this new person in your life. Your physical closeness can give both of you the opportunity to become familiar with one another, to develop physical and emotional familiarity. Beyond familiarity, you become attuned to one another as you begin to flow together through understanding patterns, moods, and cues.
Babies need to feel attached to you. Some may wonder if holding a baby close all of the time makes the baby more clingy. On the contrary, if babies can see and touch you when they want to, they are reassured that you will be there when they need you. They will be more confident as it comes time to explore on their own knowing they can leave and come back any time.
Touching, talking, smiling, and patting are all continuous when a parent wears a baby. The consistency bring reassurance that is especially important for an adopted child. The child learns that this is the adult who is there, who will be there, and who is her parent. The bond develops over time to help an adult and baby become parent and child.
- Lysa Parker, “Developing Emotional Attachments in Adopted Children,” Attachment Parenting International.
- Dr William Sears, “7 Tips for Better Bonding,” Ask Dr Sears.
- Shoshanna Grey, “Babywearing the Adopted Toddler,” Families.com.
- Attached Mama, “Adoptive Breastfeeding Is Worth the Effort,” Eco Baby Steps.