ADOPTION EDUCATION, LLC
ATTACHMENT AND BONDING
ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE HEALTHY ATTACHMENT
- Wear infant in chest carrier, all day if possible.
- Mom should initially be the only person meeting her needs. Baby needs to build a bond with one person first, then she can branch out to others.
- Bathe together, to promote skin-to-skin contact. Baby and Mom wear the same lotion; baby associates scent with Mom.
- When child gets a shot, Mom shouldn't be the person to hold her. Ask nurse to hold her, and then have Mom be the one to comfort her.
- Laminate loving family pictures of you together and put around her crib and other places.
- Outline her body, as well as your own, on huge sheets of newsprint. Color them. Tape the "portraits" to her ceiling.
- When feeding her something she particularly likes, tell her you are a good mommy or daddy. Telling her with words that you are a good mommy is important - otherwise, how would she know?
- If you use cologne (or if you don't, use your shampoo), place a tiny bit on her arm so she has your smell with her at all times.
- Play with dolls to act out how parents always return after the child goes to day care, babysitter, bed, etc.
- Limit choices. At first, parents should make all decisions, including foods, toys, and clothes. This helps the child feel safe. Then as the child becomes accustomed to the new family, limited choices can be offered.
From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.