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entle Learning Curve
Becoming a parent is the steepest, hardest learning curve there is and you get to know your baby and they get to feel safe and secure in your arms, then their bed, then your home. Understanding their sensory needs from birth is a great place to start and this article on the 4th Trimester really sums up the best way to start.
The Fourth Trimester – AKA Why Your Newborn Baby is Only Happy in Your Arms
“My baby is only happy in my arms, the minute I put her down she cries”
“He sleeps really well but only when he’s laying on my chest, he hates his moses basket”
“He hates going in his pram, he cries the second we put him in it”.
If I had a pound every time I heard these from a new parent I’d be a very rich lady by now! What amazes me though is that society in general doesn’t get it, they don’t get why so many babies need to be held by us to settle and what perplexes me even more is that we do spend so long trying to put them down! We spend more than time though, the ‘putting babies down’ industry is worth millions, rocking cribs, battery swings, vibrating chairs, heartbeat teddies and the list goes on... Having been a first time parent who bought all four of the items listed above
I am embarrased to admit now it honestly didn’t enter into my head that perhaps the answer was to not put my baby down and I certainly didn’t consider why these things might help. It took me a long time to understand and empathise with my baby, to see the world through his eyes so to speak.
“Empathy: the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.”
To empathise with our newborns feelings we need to put ourselves in their place, to imagine experiencing their world – but which world? The world they have spent most of their life in, their ‘womb world’ or the world they are in now – our world. To fully understand we must appreciate the enormous transition they have made – a concept known to many as ‘The Fourth Trimester’ -some make the womb to world transition easily, others less so and it is this latter group in particular 'the clingy babies' we can learn so much from through this concept.
We now know that building a loving relationship with your new baby will give them the best possible start in life, and will help them to grow up happy and confident. Unicef offers advice and information on getting to know your baby and setting up the foundations for that strong relationship.
This video (link below) shows how mothers keep babies close to them in the early weeks and months and how this helps them learn to recognise feeding cues.