Hello. My name is Ayelet Talmi. I'm a Pediatric Psychologist at Children's Hospital Colorado and Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Pediatrics at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine. From the moment a baby is born, the baby is ready to be in relationships with their parents, family members, and other intimate caregivers. In fact, the baby depends on relationships with adults to provide him or her with everything needed to survive and thrive: safety, stability, shelter, warmth, food, support, and nurturing. Without safe nurturing and supportive relationships, a baby would not be able to survive, let alone grow and develop and learn about the world. Caregivers or the people closest to a baby, who take care of the baby directly, or helps support the people that take care of a baby creates strong relationships by the things they do every day with babies. When a caregiver responds to a crying baby, the baby learns that his relationship with his caregiver is safe and nurturing. When the caregiver soothes the baby and gives the baby what he needs, which might be feeding the baby, changing a diaper, or picking him up and holding him close, the baby learns that when he needs something, there is someone there who will pay attention, respond with support, and not leave him alone. These repeated caregiving interactions, we can think about them as micro-interactions that happen over and over again in a baby's early days, weeks, and months, help establish what we call attachment. By micro-interactions, we mean things like soothing, feeding, changing, and caring for a baby. Attachment is the connection or relationship between a baby and her caregivers. Sometimes it's called the bond between a baby and a caregiver. The attachment relationship forms over time. Even before parents have children, they may be thinking about what it would be like to have a baby and to be a parent. They may have expectations about their relationship with that baby long before they are pregnant and during the pregnancy itself. These expectations are formed based on the parent's life experiences, including how that parent was parented when they were young. It will include what the family circumstances and environment are like during the pregnancy and when a baby is born. A parent's positive expectations about the relationship with a baby include things like feeling confident that they will be able to take care of the baby and be able to meet the baby's needs, that they will know what they are doing and how to do it in order to provide for the baby, and that they feel loving and connected to the baby, and that the baby in turn loves and is connected to them. Positive expectations are supported by actual experiences and interactions between a parent and a baby. When a parent is able to sooth or calm a crying baby, the baby responds by calming down and quieting, and in the way that reinforces a parent's confidence and competence. The parent feels good about knowing how to take care of the baby. When a parent cools, talk softly, and smiles at the baby, and the baby responds by looking at the parent, making sounds or, when they get older, smiling back, the relationship between them gets stronger. One way to think about the attachment relationship developing is through a turn-taking game, like two people rolling a ball back and forth. The baby makes a sound, the first ball rolls, maybe even starts to cry. The parent pays attention to the baby's sounds and goes over to see what's going on. The parent is rolling the ball back to the baby. The baby starts crying louder. The parent talks in a soothing voice to the baby and touches the baby gently. The baby's cries get even louder. The parent picks up the baby, talking in a soothing voice and rocking the baby gently. The baby slowly calms and her cries turn into a whimper. The parent prepares to feed the baby. The baby eats, and is now calm and satisfied. The parent is calm and satisfied too. This example shows how important the back and forth between a baby and his caregivers is to establishing safe, stable, supportive, and nurturing relationships. Key parenting contributions that help create strong relationships between babies and their caregivers include things like a parent's attunement, or their ability to notice and be connected with the baby, and a parent's responsiveness or the way they respond and take care of what the baby needs. Going back to the ball rolling example, when a parent gets the ball, the baby rolls to them and then rolls that ball back to the baby. The baby knows that the parent is available and will be there to take care of him as he grows up. Unfortunately, there are things that can interfere with the attachment relationship between a baby and his parents. Parents who are stressed, who don't have what they need to survive, such as a safe place to live, enough food to eat, money to pay for the things the family needs, or who may be struggling with mental illness, who live in violent situations, or feel isolated and alone, these parents may have a hard time being attuned and responsive to their baby. When I say attuned, I mean being in harmony with the baby and its needs. We can help by addressing parenting stress, providing resources to help families get the things they need, offering support when parents are feeling sad, worried, or lonely, and helping parents manage difficult life situations. These interventions can help to ensure that babies and parents develop and maintain strong attachment relationships. The bond or attachment relationship between a baby and her parents forms the foundation for health and wellness throughout a child's life. When babies are taken care of, nurtured, kept safe, and supported, they are able to explore their environments, grow, learn, form their own relationships, and be happy. Safe, stable, nurturing relationships are the building blocks of healthy development that last a lifetime. In this video, we learned how the relationship between babies and caregivers are formed and why they are important to health and wellness throughout the lifespan. In the next video, I will be talking about kangarooing. I look forward to telling you about it.