Each Period of a Child’s Development has its Own Needs
Visiting a family with a new-born it happened many times that the parents were terrified by the thought of not being able to cope with the needs of the new baby.
They might have gone through a nightmare with their first baby having had lots of trouble in getting the child enough sleep with hours of screaming before calm was reestablished or difficulties in getting the child to eat properly or to get the normal physical development!
Their doctor had diagnosed the first baby with “colic”. The horror is seen in the eyes of the parents.
What I always tried to do was to help the parents to understand the phase of development their baby was in. To be understood has a very calming effect. The two first months are essential for the rest of life.
From new-born to two months :
- Here you are supposed to learn to feel the difference between hunger and being satisfied.
- To be talked to when awake and helped to sleep when sleepy
- To have close eye contact with the parents and be allowed skin-to skin contact and to be held vertically towards a parent.
- Very importantly to have your baby’s digestion system well-functioning.
If you as parents concentrate on these issues in the start you avoid a lot of stress for your self and for your baby.
Screaming for longer periods can be caused by too little or too much milk, a lot of air in the digestion system and maybe also sensitivity to the milk protein in baby formula or the mothers in take of too much cow milk.
It could be the cause of lack of physical and emotional contact or lying in a wrong place.
It could be due to over-stimulation from sounds and impressions on the eye sight.
It helps to be very careful to let the baby burp during and after the feedings. Try to finish the meal in about one hour all-inclusive changing the diaper and burping. Count the hours from you start a feeding until you start the next one. Intervals are good for both mother and baby.
The first days it’s perfectly normal to fall asleep on the parents breasts. The need for a lot of sleep is so huge that you can put the sleeping baby over in the cradle or pram without him noticing. But already before the first week is over you normally can’t do that any more. It’s so much easier to train on good sleeping habits from the start. That means that you see the phases of consciousness in the baby’s face and put to sleep when looking sleepy or when every thing you do seems to be wrong. A soft piece of cloth can be used to swaddle the little one. It will remind him of the time inside his mother.
The need of frequent feedings also during nights prevent too long sleeping periods and the risk of flat and crooked head shape.
If you think your baby is insecure and needs to co-sleep in your bed ?
Then don’t be surprised that good sleeping patterns will be very hard to get. Security and the good feeling of belonging comes from good quality contact in the awake time and that you remember to smile at a close distance and speak gently to your baby about what’s going on.
The first four months you are supposed to share the same bed room for safety reasons, but not necessarily the same bed. You will constantly disturb each other lying in the same bed and the lack of sleep will cost you a lot of lost energy and joy.
It could be a cause of depression for you as a mother and influence your relation with your baby negatively.
Following these simple pieces of advice will even help your baby to sleep for longer periods night-time. A good quality mattress for the baby is very essential too.
If your baby is born prematurely my advise will be to add the numbers of weeks to his birth day and understand him as permanently younger the first one and a half-year. That will prevent the stress of over stimulating him or to be disappointed over his lack of ability in compared with other babies at the same age.