Attachment is the emotional bond that forms between an infant and caregiver, and it is the means by which a helpless infant gets its primary needs met. It then becomes an engine of subsequent social, emotional, and cognitive development. The early social experience of the infant stimulates the growth of the brain and can have an enduring influence on the ability to form stable relationships with others
Insecure attachment early in life may lead to attachment issues and difficulty forming relationships throughout life. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Unexplained withdrawal, fear, sadness, or irritability
- Sad and listless appearance
- Not seeking comfort or showing no response when comfort is given
- Failure to smile
- Watching others closely but not engaging in social interaction
- Failing to ask for support or assistance
- Failure to reach out when picked up
- No interest in playing peekaboo or other interactive games
Through close, caring relationships with a primary caregiver, attachments are formed. These attachments are essential for infants and toddlers to develop in all areas. Infants and toddlers learn about their world through their senses, so educators plan environments and activities that encourage children to touch, taste, smell, listen, and interact in any way that meets that child’s needs. Infant and toddler individual plans will include feeding and diapering schedules as these will be unique to each child. It is important to keep infants and toddlers on a familiar schedule to ensure appropriate growth and development.
Routines are opportunities for the adult and the child to connect, interact, communicate, and accomplish tasks in cooperation with each other. Through individualized care routines with a responsive, trusted adult, each child can learn that he or she is valued, included, and a part of the community. When infants and toddlers are included as active participants during routines such as meals and diapering, they learn about life skills, self-care, and cooperative relationships.
Infant and toddler planning is designed to meet unique and individual needs that include:
- Close, caring relationships with a primary caregiver.
- Predictable routines and environments.
- Home/School connections.
- Hands-on exploration and play.
Interested in learning more about supporting infant and toddler development? ChildCareEd offers many training courses designed to provide strategies and best practices to caregivers as they work with young children. Visit us today to see how our training courses can support your needs.