Embrace The “4th Trimester”
From the moment baby is born until three months old, there is rapid development. There are vital things you should start doing with and for baby during your interactions, when baby cries, and the environment you provide.
Starting From Day 1 – Interactions
- Speak to your infant as if they understand every word you are saying.
- There is NO NEED to ever punish or control an infant. Infants CANNOT be spoiled. Babies should be given what they want and responded to as quickly as possible when they are distressed.
- As children age, they should have freedom to move and explore and be offered choices in their activities.
- Positive self image begins with the type of attitude YOU have while interacting with your baby. NOT what you are doing for your baby.
Starting From Day 1 – Crying
- Verbal and Non-verbal communication are both important for optimal brain development.
- The first 6 months of interactions should be a close, loving, caring and concerned relationship between parent and baby for optimal brain growth.
- When you respond QUICKLY and appropriately to baby crying, you will reduce the frequency of later crying!
- Get to your baby as soon as she starts her “pre-cry” and you will eliminate stressful baby tears.
- Pre-empting baby distress will help her develop trust, positive self worth and will increase the likelihood that baby will explore her environment more independently as a toddler.
Starting from Day 1 – Environment
- Create a womb like environment as much as possible.
- Keep the lights low in every environment baby goes in. When she is in a dimly lit room, she will begin to look around her environment. Bright lights will cause her to shut down.
- For the first 4 weeks, no physical excitement such as bouncing, tickling, jiggling or tossing at this age. Only sweet close touch.
- Protect excessive and unhelpful noises – Any noise that isn’t a human voice or calmly rhythmic is not helping baby develop at this age. Loud noises are actually unhelpful to brain development at this age. Busy mixed noises, restaurants, many people talking, music causes baby to try to ignore everything and shut down. This is why you will see newborns “sleep” when in loud places such as a restaurant.
- Start singing to your baby by picking songs for every transition. This will teach baby to anticipate a diaper change, bath time, bed time, snuggle time. If you are a new parent and don’t remember a lot of songs, try our simple reminder Lullaby Wall Stickers.
- Again, respond quickly to crying or any sign of distress.
Embracing these simple techniques right away begin the building block of your relationship with your baby. The environment you create, the way you handle crying and the interactions you have help baby feel calm and safe. This is the foundation positive brain development.