SWADDLE – Some babies love it, some don’t, but worth checking different ways to do it as they may prefer having their arms up so it’s more of a gentle and natural hold.
OVER YOUR KNEE – Old fashioned but really works. This position will give your baby some tummy time and is good if it’s sore. You can gently bounce them on your knee and stroke them at the same time. You may feel a bit nervous doing this to begin with, but babies love it.
CHECK THE USUALS – The standard checklist is always worth remembering! Do they need to be winded, nappy changed, are they hungry, have a temperature or need a change of scene?
CUDDLE – Try different holds. If their tummy is sore or they are full from a feed, they may prefer to try a different cuddle position. It’s very important for their growth, development and emotions to feel loved and wanted. You really cant spoil a baby – the more cuddles the better.
SING – Even if you think you can’t, your baby will just love to hear your voice AND when you sing, the happy hormone Oxytocin is released so you will feel happier to. It will help you both to connect and bond and can alter your baby’s mood, which may then help them to feed and sleep better.
SMILE – Even if inside you aren’t feeling great, your baby will be watching your every emotion and if you are looking worried or tense, they will pick up on this and wonder what’s wrong. Research shows that very early on, babies are sensitive to our emotions. They know when we are stressed out and this can make them upset. (Waters et al 2014; Waters et al 2017).
CHAT AWAY – Your baby won’t mind what you are saying to them, just hearing your voice and having you gazing at them will be just wonderful for them on so many levels. It will soothe them to know that you are interested in chatting with them and it can help form healthy attatchments.
HANDS TO CHEST – This can work like magic! Gently bringing both of your baby’s hands to their chest and holding them there can often be enough to settle a baby. It reminds them of being in the womb but is also a natural way for babies to calm themselves. It helps with their stress response system and relaxation.
MUSLIN WITH SMELL – If you have to leave your baby for a while, then leave something with them which smells of you, especially if breastfeeding.
LOVE YOUR BABY – Dont look around the house and see all the things that need done – those can wait. You are investing precious time in your baby and this will show as your child grows. In the early days, if they feel loved, cared for and listened to, they will reap the benefits later on. Being close together is all your baby cares about and advances in neuroscience and psychology show above all, what babies really need is time, love and attention from the loving adults in their life.
Be proud of yourself if you are bringing up a baby. You are amazing! Try and not feel societal pressure to do anything other than what you feel like doing. Be the parent you want to be and life will be much easier I’m sure.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of massage for you and your baby, then please visit my website www.bestbeginning.co.uk where you will find some videos explaining all you need to know.
With Love, Hils x
Hils Robson founded Best Beginning in 2009 and is an award-winning Infant Massage Instructor, Doula and Mother of 4. During lockdown, she and her husband filmed and produced an online baby massage guide to help parents learn from their homes. This step-by-step guide is emailed immediately after purchase and parents can start learning how to massage their babies within minutes (and has lots of other baby tips throughout the easy-to-follow videos). Hils is passionate about helping parents enjoying life with a baby and being the parent they want to be. For more information, visit www.bestbeginning.co.uk.