Meeting your baby's basic needs can be more than enough work for any parent. After all, adhering to your baby's feeding and sleeping schedule alone is a more than full-time job. That said, it's still crucial to check in on your child's emotional development as well. Paying attention to the signs your baby has an avoidant attachment style may point to potential behavioral concerns, but there's always time to form a strong bond with your child.
To begin, it's important to understand the four infant-parent attachment styles. As explained in a 2004 piece from the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, attachment theory recognizes four types of attachment: secure, avoidant, resistant, and disorganized. As you might guess, the secure form of attachment is characterized by a sensitive, loving quality of caregiving. On the other hand, the latter three types of attachment are characterized by insecurity. Although each of the types could command an entire book's worth of material, the focus now is on the avoidant style.
Children with an avoidant attachment style tend to refrain from crying or other outward expressions of emotion, as noted by PsychAlive. In babies, for instance, an avoidant attachment style may show up in the form of infants who actively resist contact with a parent, as further explained by PsycheAlive. Basically, these children learn to act as though they don't have any emotional needs, and they may display signs of independence from a very young age, as noted by Psychology Today. Although self-reliance and emotional stability are both worthwhile traits, young children do require a strong emotional connection with caregivers.
With that said, most parents are doing their best to raise happy, healthy kids. Even if your little one does seem to show the budding signs of an avoidant attachment style, you can review these tips for building a strong emotional bond with your child. And as always, if something about your child's behavior is especially concerning, don't hesitate to bring it up with your pediatrician.