The good news about infant attachment—you’re probably already doing it

Healthy infant attachment is developed over many, many moments, not just one.

The good news about infant attachment—you’re probably already doing it

The topic of infant attachment comes up a lot in sleep training, feeding and parenting style in general. Attachment is important, of course. The bonds we form in infancy and childhood impact the “relationship blueprint” we carry for the rest of our lives (although even a damaged relationship blueprint can be repaired with intervention).

But sometimes it can be really stressful for moms. All the information leads many moms to experience guilt if they are not able to live up to ideals they think they must meet.

Luckily, forming secure attachments with our children is far less complicated than a quick and confusing Google search would lead you to believe.

Infant attachment is more simple than you think

Forming a healthy bond with our babies simply involves doing what most parents tend to do naturally!

The single most important factor in healthy infant attachment is that the baby’s needs are met, most of the time, on a fairly consistent basis. This teaches baby that the world is safe and predictable.

Breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and baby-wearing can be lovely ways to bond with a baby, but they are not necessary for forming a healthy mother-infant attachment, nor do they guarantee a secure attachment will develop.

What is necessary is good enough parenting.

What is “good enough” parenting?

It looks like this:

  • Meeting the baby’s needs the majority of the time, consistently.
  • Being with the baby and caring for them on a regular basis.
  • Conveying an attitude of acceptance toward baby and their emotions, bodily functions, and little developing personality (most of the time).
  • Cuddling, playing, holding, and interacting with baby regularly.

Notice the keywords above of “most of the time,” “regularly,” and “consistently.” It is not possible to do any of these things all of the time, but doing them regularly and most of the time is good enough to form secure attachments.

Another factor that really helps?

Having a secure attachment style yourself. Adults with secure attachment styles are comfortable with both closeness and boundaries in relationships.

If you have a secure attachment style, you model to your baby the attitude that the world is a safe place, that relationships are worth investing in, and that important others can be trusted.

If you suspect you may not have a secure attachment style, you can speak to a mental health provider. There is still time to learn to connect with others in a trusting way, and model this to your child!

Healthy infant attachment is developed over many, many moments, not just one. If you have a parenting fail, please don’t worry it has destroyed your baby’s attachment to you—it is highly unlikely.

The bottom line: Hold your baby, feed them, keep them safe, love them and remember: you are good enough already.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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