Responsive caregiving

Responsive caregiving includes observing and responding to children’s movements, sounds and
gestures and verbal requests. It is the basis for:

• protecting children against injury and the negative effects of adversity;
• recognizing and responding to illness;
• enriched learning; and
• building trust and social relationships.

Responsive caregiving also includes responsive feeding, which is especially important for low-weight or ill infants. Before young children learn to speak, he engagement between them and their
caregivers is expressed through cuddling, eye contact, smiles, vocalizations and gestures.
These mutually enjoyable interactions create an emotional bond, which helps young children to understand the world around them and to learn about people, relationships and language. These social interactions also stimulate connections in the brain.