Take a little time to look
In this fast moving world where technology overwhelms us and as parents we have so much to do I want you to take time away from Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook etc., to simply look at your baby.
While in your ‘tummy’ your baby’s presence is very much felt and when she appears you may well be a super busy mom or dad but looking at your baby will give you and them so much.
Through observation of your baby’s body language and facial expressions you will be able to gather more information than you possibly realize. It is possible for you to gather information about your baby’s:
- level of comfort
- level of hunger
- possible signs of ill-health
- expressions of gas and constipation
- signs of tiredness
Baby Sebastian pictured below is experiencing tiredness and has a little gas. You can see we’ve captured this in the photograph. His eyes look heavy and his lips look ‘full’. Such simple observation allowed Cat, his Mom, to burp him and after this he soon fell asleep. If Sebastian’s needs remained unmet he would have gone on to reach the crying stage.
Using a simple three-step approach with your baby of observation, mirroring-back and responding to their needs she will experience you, their world and themselves. You will be able to understand them and oftentimes you will be able to meet their needs before they begin to cry.
The benefits to recognizing what your baby is ‘saying’ are many. Here are just a few:
- You will quickly learn what your baby wants, needs and desires
- Your baby will feel ‘heard’ in your observation
- You will experience their satisfaction
- Their satisfaction and happiness will be mirrored right back at you
- Your anxiety will be minimized and you will both benefit from this
So Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter etc., will all be there tomorrow, for today (and every day) socially connect with your baby through the power of observation, mirroring-back and responding to your baby’s non-verbal cues and clues!
Vivien Sabel UKCP MBACP ScPTI
Author of The Blossom Method™ The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth (Random House June 2012)
Relational Psychotherapist/Clinical Supervisor/Researcher/Advisory Board member with Smile At Your Baby and Brain Insights.
 Observation, mirroring-back and responding are the three key features of The Blossom Method The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth.
By Guest blogger Toni Hoy
What did Dr. Emese Nagy, from Dundee University, find when she studied infants from 3 hours to 4 days old?* She found that newborns had a desire to communicate with others, were soothed by human emotion and baby talk, and were stressed by lack of attention and facial contact.
Psychologists at the University smiled at the infants, speaking in soft, high pitched tones, mimicking “baby-talk.” The infants responded by looking at the adults, smiling, and paying attention. They seemed content and happy as long as they were engaged.
Once engaging the child, the researchers froze, stopped smiling, and stopped responding to the infant. The babies soon became visibly distressed, turning away, and crying. After a few minutes, the researchers once again, smiled at the infants and resumed baby-talk. Did the infants respond immediately respond positively to the newfound attentive activity?
No. The researchers found that the babies didn’t immediately trust the adult to respond to his needs. It took some time to rebuild that trust. According to Dr. Nagy, “This study showed that even newborn infants come to this world with a powerful sensitivity to the other person.” Dr. Nagy proved that newborns have the skills to relate and are eager to respond with emotion, as well as showing protest when being ignored.
Dr. Nagy’s study showed how infants and toddlers develop bonding and attachment deficits including full-blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), which can affect a person’s ability to establish healthy relationships for a lifetime. This is why we are seeing large numbers of children in the adoptive population with disorders like RAD, PTSD, and other anxiety-based disorders.
Smile at Your Baby! is more than an organization. It’s more than a slogan. Smiling at your baby can make the difference between a child having the ability to express empathy, sympathy, compassion, and other emotions that are vital to healthy well-being. Smiling at a baby benefits the smiler and smilee equally and it costs virtually nothing.
Smile at your baby! It can make a world of difference.
*Dr. Nagy’s study was published in Developmental Psychology, the journal of the American Psychological Association.
Toni Hoy’s book “Second Time Foster Child” is now available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com
Visit her website at: www.scopeandcircumstance.com