What does the Relationship thread involve?

Relationships in the first years of life are critical to the developing infant. All learning takes place in the context of relationships and our brains are very attuned to the quality of early relationships. Our brains are sculpted by our early experiences. Cognitive, motor, language development and communication, are all influenced by social and emotional growth through your baby’s relationship with you.

How can I apply the Relationship thread, to support my high risk infant?

Most parents, whilst aware of their central role in caring for their child, are unaware of the critical role they play in supporting their child’s self-regulation, attention, cognition and social emotional development. Understanding the importance of your relationship with your child is key to effective early intervention. Your role takes on a therapeutic-like significance, which directly impacts your baby’s motor, sensory, cognitive and emotional outcomes.

Parenting that is receptive to your baby’s signals of interest and distress, collaborative play, and flexible engagement within challenging situations, improves infant attention and emotional regulation. It’s important that early intervention specialists realise that the relationships they encourage between parents and infants is the most important thing they can do.


You can access free resources to support your child, including leaflets to support developmental play here.

We’ve compiled a list of useful contacts here.

Learn about the other threads of the EiSMART framework here.

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