The Infant-Caregiver Emotional Relationship

By: Vivian Chan

Emotional attachment between the caregiver and infant develops around the ages of 7 and 9 months.

There are four phases of attachment:

  1. Preattachment Phase
  2. Attachment-in-the-making Phase
  3. Clear-cut attachment
  4. Reciprocal relationship phases

The preattachment phases begins from birth to age 6 weeks. This is when infants do not react when left alone with an unfamiliar caregiver. The “attachment-in-the-making” phases starts when infants are 6 weeks to 6 to 8 months old. They being to respond in different ways when left alone with unfamiliar people, and show preferences for their caregivers. The third phase is the “clear-cut attachment” phase which starts from 6 to 8 months to 18 to 24 months. Infants become upset when their caregiver leaves the room and leaves them alone. The last stage is the reciprocal relationship phases which begins from age 18 months to 24 months and up. Infants spends more time away from their caregivers and they gain feelings of security after being reunited with them.


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