Responsive Adults Promote Physical Well-Being

Young children depend on adults to provide for their physical well-being. Adults who care for children must be responsive and make the child’s needs a priority. Responsive adults create a positive environment, both physically and emotionally, that enables a child to relate to others and to explore in safety. Responsive adults can also help babies and young children tolerate and cope with stress.


Babies and young children should never be left unattended, or in the care of another child or an adult who cannot care for the child.


Responsive adults provide a sense of security that is also important for young children’s developing brains. Young children feel secure when they know that they can depend on adults to…

  • Provide sufficient food at regular times
  • Hold them safely
  • Comfort them when they are distressed

Adults create this sense of security by responding sensitively to young children and by creating predictable routines for their lives. With predictable routines, young children know that mealtime, playtime, bath and bedtime happen in a certain order. Having consistent routines like these is comforting and helps form the foundation in the brain for skills such as emotional control and secure attachment.