Attachment theory was first introduced by John Bowlby, psychoanalyst and empirical scientist (Daws, 1993). Bowlby believed that infant behaviour is strictly connected with evolutionary processes and survival mechanisms. He suggests that attachment is not only related to who feeds the baby but mainly from physical contact, which allows intimacy between mother and the baby to develop. Bowlby concluded that attachment styles are formed during early infancy from life experiences within the family. He describes a special bond with main caregivers usually mother, as a “safe haven”, “secure base” in times of distress or uncertainty. He suggested that this “attachment bond” developed through shared affection with the caregiver and leads to behavioural strategies used through the rest of life.
Mary Ainsworth who developed a "strange situation" experiment, help to recognised different types of attachment.
Based on work by Ainsworth, she introduced 3 types of attachment: Secure, Ambivalent, Avoidant (the fourth Disorganised Attachment was categorized later). By the age of 6-8 months, most infants behaviour shows attachment style.
Most of the children display secure attachment styles.
Secure Attachment style is the one when the child is able to separate from the parent, seek comfort from the parent when frightened. Returned of the parent is meet with positive emotion, a child can calm down reactively quickly, the child prefers parent to a stranger. To form secure attachment caregiver should respond appropriately, promptly and consistently to baby needs (Daws, 1993).
Bell and Ainsworth (1972) observed that responding to crying baby in early infancy helps baby to cry less, Responsive mothers in the course of first 3 months (sensitivity to infant during feeding, play, body contact) have babies with fewer problems at 12 months and on (Bee, 2013).