700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Parent-Child Attachment: Hidden Opportunities in Everyday Routines

Mar 07, 2023
parent child bonding

Attachment between a parent and child begins during pregnancy, when the parent begins to imagine what their baby might be like. Is the baby a boy or girl? Who will they look like? What type of personality will they have? Some expectant parents talk to their baby or play music to their tummy for their babies to hear and many name their babies before they are born. These thoughts and actions are important for parent and baby as they prepare to meet one another and begin their relationship. The first moments after birth and up to age 2 mark a very important time for creating the bond between a parent and child but strengthening this connection continues throughout childhood.

Babies need to feel nurtured and safe in order to thrive and they are able to do this best when they have a secure attachment with their parent.

Becoming a parent can be challenging as parents face the demands of feeding, diaper changing, and establishing sleep routines that work for them and their babies. Fortunately, these challenges are also hidden opportunities for a parent to begin building bonds with their child that will be the building blocks for all future relationships. Opportunities to bond with babies and young children are hidden in everyday activities!


  • Look into your baby’s eyes while talking or singing to them during diaper changes
  • Cradle your baby and look into their eyes during feedings.
  • Snuggle, stroke, or rock your baby before naps and bedtime


  • Read with your toddler sitting close to you or on your lap
  • Make bath time enjoyable by talking, singing, or adding toys to the bath
  • Brush hair and teeth together with your child

Young Children

  • Play hide and seek with your child or pretend to be characters from a favorite book when reading together
  • Let your child help you prepare a snack or play outside and get messy together
  • Kneel or get down on your child’s level when your child talks or shows you something they have made at school or found outside

Many parents struggle to find time to spend with their children between work and taking care of the home, but a few focused moments each day can have a huge impact on the relationship between a parent and child. Furthermore, frequent hugs and praise can go a long way to enhance parent child relationships. Making the most of everyday moments can be the foundation your child needs to build successful relationships for generations to come.

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Christy Lumpkins
Christy Lumpkins, LISW-S
Clinical Lead Supervisor of the Early Childhood Mental Health Program

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Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.