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”

http://www.benbenjamin.net/pdfs/Issue2.pdf

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”

http://www.childcarequarterly.com/fall10_story2a.html

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!”

https://multcolib.org/parents/early-literacy/brain-development

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”

http://www.rockingchairtherapy.org/research.html

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:

self-confidence

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