Ask The Expert

Dr. Roni Leiderman
Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies, NSU

“My baby is showing preference for his/her caregiver. I am happy that he/she loves her very much and he/she shows me love too, but he/she just loves to be with her. Is this normal? My son/daughter is with her 10 hours a day. My heart is broken. Please advise.”

While your concerns about your son/daughter’s loving attatchment are understood, it is important to recognize the value of having children connect with a loving consistent caregiver who provides a safe and nurturing, stimulating environment in your absence. When your child’s needs are met and he/she is loved and nurtured consistently, he/she will develop the capacity to trust others and create other meaningful relationships throughout life.

Although your son/daughter’s caregiver may be very important to him/her, there are many things you can do to nurture your relationship with your baby. First, keep an open, communicative relationship with your caregiver. Talk about their day, share stories about your son/daughter’s developing skills, ask questions about the things the baby does in your absence, find out what songs they sing together and what games they play. A fun and meaningful activity that your caregiver can share with your son/daughter is to look at a book you can fill with pictures of you, your son/daughter and the meaningful people in his/her life. Sing your son/daughter’s favorite songs and record them on tape that can be played while you’re away.

When you come home from work spend important “Mommy/baby” time with your son/daughter. Focus on playing and cuddling. Enjoy a walk, sing and dance and read their favorite stories. Simply enjoy connecting with your baby.

Many parents share feelings of sadness when they leave their children and return to work. The significant, meaningful connection that your child is developing with his/her caregiver is teaching his/her important lessons about relationships. The bond you share with your child is strong and lifelong and through his/her happy experiences with his/her caregiver, he/she is learning that there are many people whom he/she can trust, enjoy, and love.