Whole Body LLC

Parent Tips

You are the 'just right' parent for your baby!

Eye contact:

Researchers have found that your baby's brain is particularly stimulated in the visual area. They have also found that babies enjoy looking at faces of loving adults. Making frequent eye contact with your baby promotes brain development. Eye contact is easy to do!

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Hold your baby in a comfortable position
  • Smile at your baby while he or she is looking at you
  • Maintain eye contact until your baby looks away.
  • Allow time for your baby to come back to your eye contact. 
  • Smile again at your baby and wait for their response. 

It is very important to allow your baby to look away briefly. This is how they "reorganize" their thoughts and how they learn to calm themselves  when they are overstimulated. You can positively influence your baby's development by making eye contact frequently. This teaches your baby to regulate their emotions, to express their emotions and to be able to transition in and out of challenging situations.

Eye contact helps your baby get a preverbal (before language) sense of self. Sense of self is who you are, how you discriminate between you and the environment, what you like, etc. When human beings have a solid sense of self, all activities and skills are made easier and more fluent. 

Feeding your baby:

Both breastfed and bottle fed babies benefit from eye contact during feeding. Your baby may close his or her eyes or look away briefly during the feeding. Continue to be available for eye contact throughout the feeding.

Tips for bottle fed babies: Breastfed babies experience a wider variety of positions during feeding, because they nurse on both right and left sides. Alternate the side you feed your baby with a bottle, to encourage this change in position and activity.

Hold your baby during feedings. Babies benefit from physical contact with someone who loves them during feeding.

Concerns about your baby:

If you suspect that your baby is having problems with head flattening, digestive, or sleep problems, discuss this with your baby's pediatrician. The pediatrician will take everything you say with sincere consideration. If you are not content to hear the pediatrician say "(s)he will grow out of it" or "let's wait and see...", consider a consultation with Whole Body.  

A physician's referral is NOT required for treatment, however, I recommend that you share any treatment or suggestions given to you for your baby with the pediatrician.   

The first three years of life have been proven to be the most influential on the entire lifespan. The earlier an issue is addressed, the more likely it is to resolve.

EQUIPMENT WARNING!

Please LIMIT the amount of time your baby spends in positioners  (pumpkin seat, exersaucer, bouncy seats, infant swings, etc) to a MAXIMUM OF 15 MINUTES PER SESSION (except when riding in a car). Your baby's head has a greater potential for mishaping if he or she spends too much time in these devices. In addition to the increased risk of head flattening in positioners, your baby will miss out on opportunities to move their body, stretch, and turn their head side to side.          

To further prevent head flattening, remove your baby from the carseat and carry them into the place you are going.   Infant carriers, slings or wraps are available at Target, online, occasionally at resale stores, or other specialty stores. This allows you to strap the baby to you. Your baby will enjoy being carried close and secure to your body.

Babies rely on their caregivers and the environment (things going on around them) for learning and brain development. Unlike other mammals, human babies are the most helpless at birth. Babies are dependent on us for everything, ranging from their physical needs to social and emotional needs! This means that the way we touch, talk, and take care of our babies directly affects their development. Please take this as an opportunity to make positive impressions and relationships with your child! 

         

Some examples of ways to calm your baby:

  • Be calm yourself (take a deep breath, relax any tense muscles, etc.)
  • Gently and slowly swing side to side or up and down 
  • Offer something for baby to suck on (pacifier, empty breast, your clean finger
  • Gentle patting on the back or bottom 
  • Sing in quiet soothing voice
  • Sit down and hold your baby gently while they cry.   Often this will help your baby sleep for a longer period of time, as they have released many emotions.
  • Swaddling with a blanket.  This keeps baby's arms and legs close to their body and prevents startling or jerkiness secondary to sudden movements.

 

It is important for your baby's health that you keep yourself healthy. It is normal to have a wide variety of feelings after delivery. Your baby notices when you don't feel good. If we let ourselves bottle up negative feelings, it is possible to pass these along to our babies. It's okay to feel however you feel, at the same time doing the things that you know "fill your cup". If you feel especially angry, out of control, want to hurt yourself or your baby, please seek help. You may be struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety.