Saturday, April 5, 2014

Try this, Not That: Parenting Styles, Bonding and Calming

Now that's bonding!!
Even before our babies are born many parents will begin asking questions like: How do I get my baby to sleep through the night? Which seat should I put them into during the day? How fast can I get them to eat?

We almost seem like we are in a race to see how quickly we can get our babies to become independent little beings (ironically, when they are teenagers, all we want is for them to depend on us more!!). Well, newsflash, babies are not meant to be independent for months and months!! And even then, that independence slowly emerges over time. So slooooooow down.

We are a "carrying" species (THINK GORILLA!!), our babies can’t follow us until they are a year old, they can’t feed themselves until they are more than 6 months old, they can’t even put their little bodies in comfortable positions until they have cruised through the first 4 months.

Even more importantly, our extremely evolved brains require nurturing! Nurturing that begins on Day 1 and continues in earnest for the entire first year of life (and beyond!).

I don’t believe we are TEACHING our babies to be independent beings, but rather they EVOLVE into being more independent. During that growth phase, love, attention ad nurturing are the goals.

Instead of this, try this….
  • Instead of pushing your baby into independent sleep situations, isolated from the family in their own crib, try giving them an environment that will first teach their bodies how to sleep well
  • Instead of putting them in a pack n play to stay confined to one area while you get chores done, try using a baby carrier and allowing them to stay with you while you accomplish your to-do list
  • Instead of pointing your infants out in a stroller or carrier, face them toward you, being able to see your face gives infants a calm familiarity
Many, many studies show that holding, comforting and responding to you baby does not spoil them, in fact, many experts say it does the opposite by teaching them to be calm, confident and willing to explore their world at their own pace.

Allow you children to evolve at their pace, slowly confidently and calmly.

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