You may have heard of ‘Attachment’ parenting. I would like to talk about attunement parenting. The art of being at one or in tune with your baby. For many, it may not come naturally. There are postiive activities you can do with your baby to help you become more attuned to each other.
By holding your baby, or wearing your baby, your baby will cry less. Your baby will not be worried about where you are, will be entertained and warm. ‘When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes—walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses.’ Source, Baby Wearing International.
Baby yoga will demonstrate lots of different ways you can hold your baby.
When your baby is alert, (e.g. not tired or hungry) your baby will love to look at your face and interact with you. As your baby can only focus about 30cm away, your baby will love it if you hold your gaze at this distance. Please refer to this page if your baby has a visual impairment.
Playing with your baby, will improve your babies cognitive development and enhance their social/emotional development. Baby yoga demonstrates many different activites and games you can play with a non-mobile baby.
For some reason, parents are frequently told not to hold their baby, ‘you’ll spoil her’, ‘he’ll get used to being hold and you’ll never be able to put him down’.
However, many health professionals agree on the importance of physical contact between babies and their carers. Babies thrive on physical touch. Not only does touch improve their circulation, digestion, breathing, hormonal balance, touch helps develop a baby’s nervous system. Touch can also help carers improve their confidence when handling babies and improves communication. Touch also reduces stress levels for both baby and carer, promoting bonding and closeness
During pregnancy and birth, new mothers release the hormone oxytocin, associated with relaxing, connecting and nurturing. Baby massage and yoga both stimulate the on-going positive effects of this hormone. This means that doing baby massage or yoga is especially important for mum’s who are not breastfeeding, as breastfeeding naturally releases oxytocin.
A loving touch also helps regulate the stress hormone, cortisol. The more massage and yoga practiced with your baby, the greater combined sensory effects take place to enhance this closeness. Massaging and touching your baby is incredibly important to bonding with your baby, especially if you’re not breastfeeding.