Bringing a newborn baby into the world is a life changing experience. As a mother of four, I reach out to you with all my heart and wish you a calm and joy-filled journey.
From my own experience, the pressure to have a thriving baby, better sleep, peer approval, a safer car, an accident-free home and a halo of perfection made me especially vulnerable to fads and products which masked or diminished my natural instincts.
But learning about, and trusting our newborn’s and our own natural instincts is the closest thing I know to a “user’s manual” and is a great guide to choosing only those products that support those instincts.
There are decades of scientific research on the importance of mother-infant attachment for optimal development of babies. And many, such as a 1960s study by Kenneth Robson of the U.S. Institute of Mental Health, point to the importance of parents looking to babies for guidance.
He writes in his paper “The role of Eye to Eye contact in maternal-infant attachment”, the maternal caretaker response is “released” by the universal baby behaviour of eye-to-eye contact, crying, smiling, following, clinging and sucking.
Your newbie is giving you cues to parent well. Sometimes called attachment parenting, the style of parenting most associated with this emotional responsiveness to your newborn costs nothing and isn’t a fad or a gadget. It’s the loveliest and simplest way to parent. Hold or carry your newborn, listen to your newborn, look at your newborn, soothe your newborn, (ideally) breastfeed your newborn and sleep with (or near) your newborn.
Attachment Parenting responds to a baby’s need for trust, empathy, and affection in order to create a secure, peaceful, and enduring relationship between parents and baby, and between baby and others. It is critical in the first 3–5 years of life.
Any time I’ve looked back on the parenting of my babies, the most treasured moments and the most satisfying outcomes were when I sang to, chatted to, slept beside, cuddled, stroked, carried and fed my babies.
Certified Baby Carrier Consultant, inventor, journalist, mum of four