Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Keeping Your Baby Close

In looking through 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' as I was looking for what to post today for the La Leche League post, I found a pretty cool little excerpt (shared below) talking about keeping baby close and how important it is for baby's development, etc, etc. 

It could actually be an excerpt not just for La Leche League, but also for Babywearing International, which also holds Sioux Falls Chapter meetings at Educated Mommy.....if you haven't gone to one, you should definitely check one out!

Anyway, enjoy this excerpt from 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' on keeping your baby close :)

Along with whatever else you are doing during the day, you will want to have your baby close to you as a matter of course. You don't have to have him in your arms every minute, although you will be holding him often, both when you are nursing and between times (as he needs this contact). But you will just want to be there because what your baby needs most of all is you. No one else can take your place. To him, there is nobody quite like his mother.

In many cultures it is the custom for mothers to be practically inseparable from their babies during their first years, with the baby either strapped to his mother's body or sleeping cuddled next to her. In these cultures, it is unusual to hear a baby cry.

So it is not surprising that a recent study found that more human contact makes for a happier baby. Those babies who spent more time being held or carried either in mother's arms or in a baby carrier - even while contented or asleep - cried less. The younger the baby, the more dramatic were the results. Three extra hours of carrying a day reduced the amount of crying in a four-week-old infant by forty-five percent.

These findings confirm what our mothering instincts tell us - that plenty of loving contact does not "spoil" a baby or make him more demanding, but instead helps him feel more comfortable and happy in his new world.

For many mothers, owning some type of a sling or baby carrier is essential. Helen Nichols of Massachusetts can't say enough "in praise of the baby carrier." She writes: "As with breastfeeding itself, the benefits of the baby carrier are not entirely for the baby. In fact, as I discovered, mother receives a generous portion of them. I could cook, clean house, wash dishes, care for the older children, even sew while Benjamin slept blissfully in his cozy nest. It was, purely and simply, the very easiest thing to do."

When you are considering what kinds of equipment you'll need for your new baby, remember that very little specialized baby equipment is really necessary; more important to the baby are mother's sweet milk and loving arms. Lee Stewart of Missouri sums up the subject well: "Children's natural values are very human and simple. They want to be held and loved. They want to be with those who care for them. They want to be comfortable. Given a choice between the warmth of human values and material values, babies will almost always choose the human."

So keep your baby close. Love them, hold them, and don't worry about "spoiling" them - it's not possible to spoil your sweet baby who just needs you. You are the perfect thing for your precious babe!

Don't forget to join us for La Leche League this Thursday at Educated Mommy at 6:30 p.m., and have a wonderfully blessed Mother's Day on Sunday - You deserve it!


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