IMPRINTING is the behavioral process that takes place during a sensitive period in the early hours of life during which the baby’s evolutionary biology enables it to orally fixate to a stimulus feature (normally the mother’s nipple and the surrounding suckling area) and learn its tactile characteristics.
LATCHMENT is the first emotional stage of development during which the baby recognises its mother through the oral tactile perception of the stimulus feature in the mouth for evolutionary survival (mother in the mouth).
ATTACHMENT is the second stage of emotional development commencing sometime after 6 months when the baby visually recognises its mother as a whole person (mother in the eye). Attachment is a biologically instinctive form of behaviour directed by the infant to the carer who provides a safe haven for evolutionary survival. Attachment characteristic is a predictor of social and emotional outcome.
Mobbs E Acta Paediatrica 2016;105(1) 24-30 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apa.13034/full