The way your baby responds to the world and how you respond to your baby will determine their future and yours. When your baby cries, they will learn what the world is like when they cry.
Help them become calm and confident
If you comfort your baby when they're distressed, they will learn they can rely on your support to manage whatever is upsetting them. With the knowledge that you will help them, they become increasingly calm and less reactive. They’ll learn that everything will be okay.
As a parent, you cannot prevent a painful bubble of wind or the odd experience of reflux, but you can comfort and support them so they’re not alone as they deal with the day’s many emotional challenges.
Eventually they will take the reins and attempt to calm themself by sucking their hand or shifting positions as they learn to self-soothe.
Where’s the line?
During the first few years of life, your baby needs you to be there for them and offer them emotional and physical care.
It can be a fine line between offering care and being intrusive as a parent. Sometimes our own anxiety has us responding to what we imagine might be happening, rather than what is really happening, and our parenting style can become overwhelming.
Imagine if someone was loud in your ear or always up in your face. Babies need space and gentle care, but what does that really mean?
LOOKING. Watch your baby when you are loud, close or fussing about them: do they grimace or have a little frown, do they pull away or look away? If so they're trying to tell you it's all a bit intense and they need calm, slow and sensitive care.
Check in with your baby
Wanting to be a wonderful parent means we sometimes overstep the mark and tend to our baby without checking on how they're managing it all. We assume we know what to do and we don’t adjust our care, in that moment, to match our baby's needs.
LOOK at your baby, LISTEN to them and THINK about their experience. With that knowledge you are in a better place to INTERPRET what they're telling you. This way, you are more likely to provide timely and appropriate care.
Little by little, you'll both learn a lot about the other as you develop a beautiful infant-parent relationship.
Author: Helen Stevens. RN. RM. MCHN. Manager of Clinical Services, Education and Research.
Parent Infant Consultants. 0411880720.