How important is connection? Personally, I think it is vital. As a parent, you are baby's first teacher, they learn the world through you. If they didn't have this connection would they thrive, would they even survive? Vital, you are vital, you are also enough.
Babies do not need fancy and expensive toys, you can help build their brain, empathy, social interaction and so much more through connection, nurturing touch and play. I have put a video below which shows exactly how vital your connection to baby is. It is only a few minutes long and demonstrates the difference between providing that 'serve and return' of watching baby then interacting and connecting with them and then not. It is a stark difference but just look at her little face when mum starts interacting again at the end. How completely gorgeous!
Video courtesy of https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/379-connecting-with-babies
This video does show a mum but am sending out a big shout out for the dads too! When a baby is born they are able to recognise BOTH the parents voices, dads don't get the opportunity to bond with mum in the exact same way but they do still get the opportunity to bond with baby. If it is possible I can't recommend Dad and Baby attending a class or two somewhere, just the two of them. The other main caregiver is essential in baby's development so having the opportunity to do that will provide both baby and Dad some lovely bonding time, whilst also giving mum some well deserved 'me' time!
We are all social animals who mostly crave a sense of community and connection. Back in the pre-historic times this would have provided us with a sense of protection and help, safety in numbers when you are being chased for some animals dinner right!
It is also how we learn. We learn through connection with others. Social cues, interaction between different generations and their knowledge and skills being passed down. This is all a form of connection with each other.
In the times we are currently living in we need each other more than ever. That craving for connection is strong than ever, even if we are now allowed a certain number of friends and family into the house.
A baby has a hierarchy of needs and it may surprise you to know that food is not at the top of that. If a baby cannot successfully communicate that it needs food, how will it get food so being able to connect with baby to let them know that you have heard and understood them will mean that baby gets food.
The first 1001 days in a child's life are fundamentally vital. This is your opportunity to help lay the foundation for the rest of their lives, social and emotional development, their future health and success and so much more.
With every smile, look, song, millions of neural connections are being made. Over 1 million per second, thats how important early connection is. Helping to build and strengthen those connections is what you do every minute of every day. You are connecting with them, helping them feel secure, to grow their sense of self, their intelligence and also language abilities. By interacting with baby you are letting them know that their signals mean something, that they are being listened to, responded to and loved.
You are also helping them to understand that they are a person, separate from you and give them a strong and secure foundation to grow from. Caring for them will help them to care for you and so develop that strong sense of empathy. From mutual concern comes their sense of morals and values so they can easily interact and connect with the world around them as they grow.
So, personally, I think connection is everything. What do you think?