Reciprocal Interactions between Young Infants and Caregivers are Fundamental
So you are given this incredible opportunity to be the one to provide care to a newborn. Congratulations to you, nanny, for being able to secure such an incredible opportunity. Congratulations to you, parents, on the arrival of your newborn and thanks for choosing and trusting nannycare as the best option in childcare for your infant. In the coming weeks, I will be touching on various topics that are essential in the proper development of a young infant, whether it involves cognitive, physical, emotional, social, or language development. This week I’m discussing the importance of interaction between young infants and their nanny, as well as posing a question to you, which is how do infants use communication as a means to solicit care? No need to reread the question-I specifically and consciously asked about infants.
One body of thought suggests that infants simply sleep all day, eat, and wet and soil their diapers. Some say that infants really don’t interact with their caregivers, so caregivers need not interact with them. They believe infants don’t understand what’s going on around them. But we know from research that this thought process is actually not correct. “To solicit care, infants need to engage in social interactions and to monitor the behaviors of others for signs of commitment.” Therefore, they use a whole host of vocalizations, such as babbling, cooing, crying, and laughing, which will give a nanny sufficient information to make a sound judgement as to whether the infants are in distress, or they need food, comfort, or sleep.
Nannies must engage with infants to build a social bond and trusting relationship with them. Such vocalizations that the infant uses serve as a way for them to develop and maintain a rapport with their caregiver. Therefore, face-to-face communicative interaction between a caregiver and a child is essential. This is called dyadic vocal interaction. To better understand this term, recall how you use “baby talk” with a child while bottle feeding and how that child may smile, coo, or make other vocalizations. Although we might see this as an everyday occurrence, maintaining this dyadic interaction with an infant is important because the sharing of positive affects (facial expressions) helps a nanny and child develop a bond. In turn, this prepares the child for language acquisition. Therefore, nannies, continue to speak, sing, and smile in front of infants. Read to them as often as possible. Listen for cues in their crying pattern that will give you signals to make the best decision for this child. Lastly, hug the child as much as you can. Children, even young infants, thrive in an environment where they feel safe and loved. In this way, they will learn to share the love you give to them with others.
Continue changing one life at a time by providing the best nanny-care to children, sealing it always with agape love.