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Responsive caregiving, or responsive developmental care, is nurturing your young child (ages birth to 3 years) by noticing and meeting their needs. This helps your child feel safe and secure.
Responsive caregiving is important for your child’s social, physical, and emotional health. It helps their brain develop and promotes growth and learning.
You can provide responsive care by noticing, understanding, and responding to your child’s signals. This kind of care is important for all young children, including those who are sick or being cared for in the hospital.
Talk to your child:
Hold your child and offer nurturing touch:
Connect with your child during diaper changes and daily care routines:
Hold your young child during feedings:
Ask your care team if there are special precautions you should take when providing responsive care in the hospital:
Remember, you know your child best. Trust yourself to notice and respond to their cues.
Reviewed: December 2023