There’s nothing like seeing your baby’s face for the first time. When they lay, draped along your chest, hungry mouth searching, little eyes locked on yours. It’s a magical and, some might say, addictive moment. It is also the springboard of all your future communication together. For when baby first makes their appearance, that time spent laying on you is time spent breathing in your scent, hearing your voice, looking into your eyes and sinking into your skin. It is forming the blueprint of who that know as ‘mummy’. And you will spend the rest of your lives together deepening and strengthening that unique bond. The bond only the two of you will share.
From the moment your little one opens their eyes, you can rest assured that whatever you say will be absorbed. They can’t get enough of the tome of your voice. It is the sound of comfort, the sound of love.
Holding your baby for as much of the day as you can lets them feel safe in your arms, against your heartbeat, against the softness of your skin, and near enough that they can smell your scent. Studies have shown that holding babies more, not less, has physiological and emotional benefits that last into adulthood. Being in your arms is being home.
Looking into your baby’s eyes, allowing the two of you to drink each other in, is the building block to trust. They get to know those eyes, that kindness, that love. It is where they begin to know your soul. Enjoy those special, private moments that are just the two of you. It builds trust and a strong connection. One that you’ll both be glad of in later years when all they want is someone who will understand and all you want is to be the one to listen.
Talk to your baby throughout the day. Be the narrator of your routine. ‘Up the stairs we go, one, two, three’, ‘what can you see through the window?’, ‘That breeze feels nice.’ There is nothing more entertaining or soothing than the sound of your voice. It sounds like home. Use it often, use it kindly. It is the beginning of how they make sense of the world.
Touch can really let baby know they’re loved. A cuddle goes a long way whatever our age. Babies are no different. It is an essential building block to a loving, trusting, respectful relationship; one they will learn from when forming their own relationships as children and adults. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to put your baby down. They obviously don’t know the tremendous power of loving touch. You won’t be holding your baby when they’re off to college, so do all the holding you can now so that they become the self reliant and confident person who will eventually want to be going forth on their own. Secure attachment like this comes from trust. Fall in love with your baby and let them know it. You will both reap the benefits.
Play music. The music you like to listen to. It will form part of baby’s first memories and stay with them throughout their childhood. Music can play an essential part in growth and development, especially for children who haven’t got the language skills needed to express themselves. Music can be the release for tension, a channel for anger, the backdrop for excitement. Letting your child play an instrument with wild abandon will foster independence, confidence and the ability to express their uniqueness! Pots and pans will do if no instruments are available. Use bottles safely taped up with rice inside as shakers. So much fun. So much development. So much exploration.
Create art. It helps children explore their own preferences which will lead to confidence and independence. It will also help raise self esteem. Creating art builds a sense of curiosity and adventure that will stay with them throughout their lifetime. It doesn’t even have to get that messy, although messy art is fantastic for exploration. A wet sponge or paintbrush on the decking or patio will allow them to explre making patterns without any clean up! They could even use a watering can to pour the water into different shapes. Baby safe finger paints and crayons are another great tool for expression, leading them to explore different colours as well as colour mixing, sign and date for a lovely keepsake you can both look back on in years to come.
Keeping the lines of communication open can help your little one grow to be a happy, content and confident child. Time spent nurturing the special and unique relationship you share will be time well spent.
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