Intentional Baby Care

Choices that Shape Your Baby’s Future

Research shows how baby care choices shape your baby’s future.

How Will You Choose for Me?

How Will You Choose for Me?

Abundant Research

Perhaps you remember the (linked) post “Intentional Baby Care” that talked about human touch, love, and attention, and the positive, long-term effects of these baby care choices. Here are some other choices you may want to make for your newborn as you think about the person you want your baby to become. In 2013 we have technological advances that make information readily available at the touch of your finger, and we have an abundance of research that only time can make possible. Here is a small sample of what we now know.

“The Primacy of Human Touch”

Ben E. Benjamin, PhD begins by talking about unwanted babies of a hundred years ago in orphanages who died, not from lack of food or lack of clean surroundings, but from lack of touch. When given touch in an outside environment, the babies from these institutions thrived. He goes on to mention that today’s cuddlers (volunteers who hold babies in the hospital) not only help those babies improve physiologically so that they grow and heal faster, but the cuddlers themselves experience “lower anxiety levels, fewer symptoms of depression, and improved self-esteem.” He asks the important question worth exploring:  “And what is the connection between physical human contact and virtually every aspect of health and well being?” And after some discussion he makes this observation about newborn babies: “But it does make sense that during this most vulnerable time of our lives we would form patterns and expectations about how the world works, specifically, about how safe and valued we are in the world, through our skin.” Human touch is a powerful force, easy to give to your newborn, that will help shape the person your baby will become.

“Crying Babies: Answering the Call of Infant Cries”

Melodi Faris cites in her article the research of many investigators as she gives us ample documentation to support responding immediately to the call of a baby crying. “Ideally, a caregiver would evaluate the infant’s cries, choose a method of care to ease the infant’s distress, and respond quickly. This process, if consistent, should instill security and trust in the infant.” Security and trust provide the foundation for development of the long-term benefits of “a more balanced self-concept, better language skills, better problem-solving skills, greater conscience development, and more mature and positive interactions,” skills that may influence greater success in life. Many more research findings are presented that will help you explore this choice for your own baby care.

“Books and Babies and Brains! Oh My!”

We learn from the “Brain Development” section of the Multnomah County Library that your baby’s brain development is influenced by “simple acts – singing silly songs, talking about colors and textures…., holding and reading….daily” that cause connections in the brain to form. The article goes on to say that “Babies and young children learn best through warm, responsive caregiving. Clear evidence has emerged that suggests that activity, experience, attachment, and stimulation determine the structure of the brain.” This research documents that “warm, responsive caregiving is essential to healthy brain development.”

“Rocking Chair Therapy Research”

Champ Land’s article cites many sources of research demonstrating the positive benefits of rocking, not just for babies, but for people of all ages. Rocking is proven to be good for the mind, body, and spirit. Studies in the elderly population have demonstrated that rocking benefits include a decreased need for medication, improved balance, and more happiness for patients and their families. They also noted in these studies that it’s possible to “rock away anxiety and depression.” Other studies found that post-operative and C-section patients recover more quickly with rocking. Perhaps if you have a Cesarean delivery you would also like to know that “rocking mothers had less gas pain, walked faster, and left the hospital one day sooner than non-rocking mothers.”

It’s commonly known that “rocking soothes fussy babies and relaxes mothers.” But did you also know that rocking “stimulates the balance mechanism of the inner ear. It assists an infant’s biological development and ability to be alert and attentive.” Rocking is also proven to enhance the bonding process for mother and baby. And, it has been discovered that, beginning the 10th week of pregnancy, “rocking promotes the development of the fetal nervous system.” It seems that no matter the age or condition, rocking is truly a simple, relaxing, and fun way to enhance the human body.

Your Baby’s Future

Perhaps you have learned, or been reminded of, some things that may influence your baby care choices. You do have the power, as a parent to this little person who came to live with you, to influence your newborn’s overall healthy development as you make choices that will shape your baby’s future.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

The Magic of Attention

Paying attention to your newborn makes baby care magic.

Attention is Magic

Attention is Magic

This mom is showering her newborn with undivided attention … and her newborn is paying attention right back. They both are offering human touch to focus even more intently.

Interacting with your newborn with your full attention sends an important message to your baby.

Attention teaches your newborn to trust in you. Trust is the foundation from which independence, self-confidence, and optimism develop.

Attention allows you to provide consistent, reliable baby care … the care that is proven to promote overall healthy development.

The simple act of paying attention to your baby lays the foundation for success in your newborn’s future … like magic.

 For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

The Magic of Love

Love makes baby care magic.

The Magic of Love

The Magic of Love

Love is the primary building block that permeates intentional baby care. As you remember, intentional baby care is the phenomenal care you give to your newborn (or baby or child) when you intentionally fill your care with attention, love, and human touch.

Love has a powerful influence on the person receiving the love … no matter the age …like magic.

Love is the bridge between you and your newborn that allows the magic to happen.

Confidence, trust, and self-worth develop in your newborn in the presence of love.

Love makes baby care easier and more fun … for both of you.

Love expands within you when you give it away.

Loving baby care makes both of you happy.

You can choose intentional baby care … and watch an amazing human being unfold.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

The Magic of Human Touch

Human Touch Makes Baby Care Magic

Human Touch Benefits Newborn

Human Touch Creates Magic

Holding your baby, wearing your baby, stroking your baby’s downy head and tender skin are ways you can provide loving human touch in your baby care.

Intentionally touching your baby is beneficial for your baby because it promotes healthy growth and development, both mentally and physically.

When you provide abundant human touch for your newborn you are giving your baby the long-term gifts of:


independence (less clingy)

healthy emotional development (less aggressive behavior)

healthy body development (newborns held skin to skin regulate breathing and heart rate better, maintain normal body temperature better, and have fewer infections)

Abundant human touch in baby care is proven to have a positive influence … like magic.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

The Power of Human Touch in Baby Care

The power of human touch is life affirming.

Kangaroo Care with Intentional Baby Care

We know from historical events that babies deprived of human touch will not survive for very long. Here is a more recent event that again demonstrates the power of human touch for newborns.

In 2010 in Sidney, Australia, a premature twin boy was pronounced dead shortly after birth, unable to survive despite medical efforts to save him. My heart goes out to anyone who loses a baby.

The mother of this newborn held him snuggled on her chest in Kangaroo Care, a special way of holding premies and newborns skin to skin, to say her farewell. She was talking to him, loving him, and gently touching him as a mother naturally does with her baby. Incredulous as it sounds, this premature baby, pronounced dead at birth, started to move.

Not sure if it was just a reflex or true movement the mom continued to hold her son, and continued to shower him with her love, attention, and touch.

The combination of human touch (provided by the special skin-to-skin connection as well as her gentle caresses) her love, and her attention gave her newborn life!

Kangaroo Care, and abundant human touch, are within your ability to give to your newborn baby too. Both are powerful forces that bring a world of goodness to your baby, and a world of happiness to you.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Having a Baby

What does it really mean to have a baby?

Newborn Babies

When you have a baby, if you think about it, you don’t just have “a baby” but you truly create another human being, a person who will make a difference, large or small, in our world. This person you create will be a newborn for only 28 days, and will be an infant/baby for only one year. Your baby will be a baby for a very short time.

So the message is this:

Enjoy your newborn, enjoy your baby, while you can.

Take advantage of your baby’s perfect design and carry, hold, and wear your newborn or baby often to reap all of the wonderful benefits available to both of you.

Pay attention to your newborn and to your baby.

Provide an abundance of human touch, love, and attention (intentional baby care) at every opportunity.

Intentional baby care is proven to help you nurture a capable, independent, self-confident, loving, trusting, optimistic human being … starting from Day 1.

Having a baby means you have the power to make baby care choices that can make a world of difference, literally.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

To Spoil or Not to Spoil

No worries … it’s not possible to spoil your newborn.

Thanks Dad …

If you have been taught that answering your baby’s cries immediately or holding your baby frequently will spoil your baby, you have been misinformed.

Research demonstrates that an abundance of human touch, attention, and love (what I refer to as intentional baby care) gives your newborn, and baby, the security needed to develop trust, optimism, greater self-confidence, better language and problem-solving skills, and earlier independence. These are wonderful gifts to give to your baby.

These gifts, or qualities you help your baby develop, will have a positive influence on your baby’s future.

Thanks to all of the babies, their care takers, and the research scientists who made this observation and important information available.

Baby care, and how you choose to provide it, starting from Day 1, is powerful.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Babies Are Meant to Be Held

Mother Nature designed babies to be held.

Newborn Held by Loving Dad

Encourages Independence

Holding your newborn allows your baby to explore the world from a safe environment. Growing, exploring, and learning while close to you gives your baby the gift of confidence. Confidence is shown to encourage less clinging and promotes independence sooner than you would expect.

Size Matters

Let’s not forget that the actual design of newborns and babies lends itself to holding quite well. Babies are small, and can be picked up and held very easily. Babies also do not weigh a lot, so that holding in your arms, or even with one arm on occasion, is accomplished easily. And when you would love to hold your baby but need to have your arms and hands free to do something else, your baby’s light weight can be supported by a baby sling or wrap, specially designed to keep your baby safe while you test the avocados for ripeness or hold your four-year-old’s hand while crossing the street.

Your baby will be the perfect size and weight for holding and wearing for the first year of life definitely. Just know that the first year with your baby will go by very quickly, and the opportunity for babywearing will disappear quickly too. One day you will turn around and your “baby” will be graduating from high school. It happens!


There’s a natural and special bond that occurs when holding your newborn. This special bond is not limited to parents only. It happens with anyone who is blessed with the opportunity to hold your baby.

Learning Your Newborn’s Cues

Being close together makes it easier to read your newborn’s cues. Because you’ll immediately notice the squirming, rooting, or other early baby cues you may be able to eliminate the need for your baby to cry to get your attention. Less crying is good for both of you and makes newborn care easier. To help you learn your baby’s cues more easily, choose to hold your baby often.

Calm-Alert States

You will find that your baby is more calm when awake, and not easily overstimulated while being held. Studies have shown that these calm-alert states are the perfect state of mind and body for learning to occur easily.

Meant to Be Held

These are just a few of the valuable benefits your baby will receive by being held. You will be able to observe and experience even more as you hold and wear your own baby. Feel free to share what you learn!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Intentional Baby Care

Did you know that baby care, and how you choose to provide it, starting from Day 1, has the power to influence the person your baby will become? 

intentional Baby Care

Human Touch, Attention, Love

It’s Powerful

Intentional baby care, a phrase I’ve created to encompass what I believe is the highest form of care you can give your baby, is a choice readily available to you. Elevating ordinary baby care to this extraordinary level involves consciously choosing to provide your care with an abundance of human touch, attention, and love.

Human Touch

Loving human touch has the ability to instill confidence, improve health, enhance brain development, increase happiness, and create a resourcefulness that enables your baby to handle life as it unfolds. Human touch is truly magic! With this understanding, holding your baby (human touch magnified) suddenly takes on new meaning. This natural act of holding your baby gives your newborn precious gifts that influence life, present and future.


Intentionally paying attention to your newborn allows you to learn your baby’s language and cues, and allows you to respond consistently and reliably to your baby’s needs. This attentive care is extraordinary because it teaches your baby to see people as generally trustworthy and loving, and to see the world as basically a safe place full of possibilities. Paying attention to your baby gives your newborn the gifts of self-confidence and an optimistic outlook, influencing the person your baby will become.


This thing we call love is the primary building block that permeates intentional baby care. Love is the bridge between you and your newborn that allows these profound gifts of intentional baby care, love included, to be given and received. Give your love freely and watch an amazing human being unfold.

Intentional baby care is a powerful choice.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Benefits of Babywearing

Babywearing benefits both of you.

newborn baby wearing

Wearing Your Baby

Happy Baby

Holding your newborn is a way to give your baby many gifts, happiness being one of them. Wearing your newborn is holding sustained and magnified. You’ll soon discover that the secret to a happy baby is to wear your baby.

Less Crying

Research has shown that babies who are worn cry less than babies who are not held or worn. If less crying is part of the definition of a happy baby, and who could argue with that, then wearing your baby is definitely a valuable key to happiness.

Promotes Development

Studies have also shown that the movement your baby experiences helps to increase balance and muscle tone for your newborn, developing your baby’s motor skills and coordination. These are wonderful gifts to give your baby.

Safe Environment

Wearing your newborn offers the advantage of keeping your baby close to you, making it easier to protect your baby from strangers, and easier to share your baby with those you choose. Always wear your baby facing you.

Quality Sleep

Wearing your newborn provides the perfect place for your baby to fall asleep as needed, rocked by the rhythm of your life. You may find that your baby will stay asleep longer when snuggled, warm and comfortable, protected and loved, next to you.

Easy Exercise

You’ve probably already thought of the obvious benefits to you that exercise provides. Wearing your baby while going for a walk should not only promote a healthy body, mind, and spirit but should also make walking for exercise more fun!


Another obvious benefit is convenience. Crowded places are easy to navigate, and careful use of stairs or escalators eliminates the trek to find the elevator. Your hands are free to browse your favorite section of the book store, to choose the freshest fruit at the farmers’ market, or to text a friend, all the while knowing your baby is safe even if you’re a little distracted by the details of your adventures.

Enjoy wearing your baby. It’s wonderful for both of you!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

How To Soothe Your Newborn Baby

Trying to soothe your newborn by making a “SHHHH” sound at your crying baby may not be best.  I believe there is a better way.

newborn soothing wearing

Naturally Soothing

What “SHHHH” Means

Perhaps the intention behind making this SHHHH sound is to try to simulate the sounds your newborn may have heard in the womb. Simulating womb environment in an effort to soothe you newborn is very good idea. But I believe the common interpretation of “SHHHH” is to tell someone to be quiet.

Simulating Womb Environment

Using other qualities of womb environment that are naturally soothing may be a better way to soothe your crying newborn. In the womb your baby is rocked by your movement, warmed by your body heat, and held securely within your womb. By far these are the important elements of womb comfort, easy to duplicate after your baby is born.

Wear Your Baby

Holding and/or wearing your newborn in a soft cloth carrier allows you to keep your baby snuggled next to you. Just like being in the womb, your newborn will be rocked by your movement, warmed by your body heat, held securely, and will also hear your actual heartbeat and smell your familiar scent while safe and warm—an environment that is most definitely soothing to your baby.

For a happier baby, hold or wear your newborn often. It’s a wonderful habit to develop that’s not only soothing to your baby, but also beneficial for your baby’s health and well-being too.

For more ways to provide simple but exceptional newborn care check out Newborn Baby Manual for your iPad or Kindle.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN