by Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Updated April 2016
Many families are concerned about bonding and attachment with their baby after adoption. If you are concerned, you are not alone. However, observation and research shows that adoptive families can form bonds as successfully as biological families.
The period from birth through three years of age is the most favorable time for children to form a bond with their families. However, adoptive parents have no need for undue concern as we also know developing a bond with an adopted child is not unlike the process of building one with a biological child, it develops over time.
One of the first issues a new adoptive family faces is how well it will come together to become a family unit. It is vital that all members bond with each other and recognize one another as members of the family. Together they should work to develop caring, committed relationships.
For adoptive parents concerned about the bonding process, it is best not to force the bond with your baby, but rather to take your time, adopting a positive and patient understanding that bonding will occur over time will help in this process. Introducing dependable care and regular routines will help your child to feel more comfortable, recognize what to expect, and what is expected of him as well.
For many adopted infants, bonding tends to occur rather quickly, as they generally accept and attach to new parents. Parents also tend to quickly bond with their new child through the process of providing the regular care he or she needs, through playing and communicating together with their child, and by showing attention and affection.
After adoption, bonding is a parent initiated learning experience. No matter the child's age, parents who are proactive in developing a bond with their child create an ongoing positive relationship. Adoptive parents need a variety of techniques to facilitate the bonding experience.
Responding to the child's needs in a nurturing, compassionate and sensitive manner encourages trust and recognition that the child is worthy of unconditional love. Responding to the child's needs in a loving way leads to an increased sense of trust, security and a reduction in anxiety.
For some families, infant massage plays an important role in encouraging their bond. Maintaining eye contact and loving touch promote a sense of being cared for and accepted. Through the use of infant massage, parents learn to become more attuned to their baby's unique and individual forms of communication. It can help parents to understand their baby's cues and respond more appropriately. And of course, having skin to skin contact through the use of loving touch, can help the family's bond to strengthen and grow!
Specially trained Certified Infant Massage Teachers (CIMTs)
Through working as a Certified Infant Massage Teacher you have the special opportunity to impact an infant and their family for a lifetime.
This professional training is for those interested in working with families by becoming a Certified Infant Massage Teacher (CIMT®). A CIMT® is not only an instructor, but also an educator who teaches the art of infant massage to parents or caregivers in the presence of their babies.
For more information visit Comprehensive Infant Massage Teacher Training Course (CIMT)
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