Every infant uses cues: verbal and nonverbal means of communicating with his or her caregiver. Cues are the means that infants use to engage with and disengage from contact with the people around them, particularly their primary caregivers. The ways in which parents and caregivers respond to infants’ cues inform how those infants expect have their needs met—or not. Timely and appropriate responses to infants’ cues help them to know that they are secure, whereas inconsistent responses or a lack of responses can lead to a feeling of insecurity in the caregiver-infant relationship.
For further tips and ideas about how to address your child’s feelings visit blog.wellbabycenter.org.
Deborah Groening is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Psy.D. Candidate, and Certified Infant-Mental Health Specialist. She is also the Executive Director of Well Baby Center.