As an Inner Child Doula, my call has always been this one. It is easier to raise empowered and happy children than it is to “fix” broken adults. To me, it starts when they are babies. I want to talk about simple things, not fancy courses or expensive workshops or new gadgets to stimulate your baby or your toddler. I am not talking about developing their brain (which is also a good thing, by the way, don’t get me wrong) but I am talking about the real thing, about going back to the basics and it is love.
Human babies, unlike many other mammals, will die if they are not taken care of. Human babies are unique in the animal kingdom in the extent of their underdevelopment at birth. But the physical underdevelopment is only a tiny part of it. The human brain is only partially formed when tiny humans are born. The earliest experiences of the human baby have a lifelong impact on their mental and emotional health and they need Love and attention to grow physically and emotionally.
Basically, human babies can die from lack of love. When an infant falls below the threshold of physical affection needed to stimulate the production of growth hormone and the immune system, his body starts shutting down. The immune system also seems to be profoundly affected, making these children especially vulnerable to all types of disease — probably because not being nurtured is extremely stressful and high levels of stress hormones can turn off the immune system.
On an emotional level, the “social” part of the brain only starts to develop at around six months. Where a baby does not receive any attention, this part of the brain does not grow and may never grow. Our babies need love.
So I am writing this to remind you of the basics. It is easy to get caught up in the social pressure, pushing our babies to perform even before they can talk, forgetting how to enjoy the present moment and each little new thing they do.
So this post is for all the mothers out there who feel they are not enough and struggle just saying that simple sentence “I am a good mother”. Stop focusing on your mistakes and focus on the love.
Limitations are created by the mind, the heart is infinite and love dwells there… Close your eyes and remember that moment where your child or any child looks at you with unconditional love and where you can see through the mirror of their eyes, beauty, purity and infinite love… This reflection, this is you. They see you. They need you. Remember this and remind your critical, never stopping voice when she will start again the beating up dance that you know who you are.
So maybe, it is not about being a good mother but just about loving yourself and loving your kids. You love them right, otherwise, we would not be having this conversation… So remember one thing,
“We all do our best till we know better” as Maya Angelou used to say…
Be gentle with yourself and keep trying…Focus on the love...and in the meantime, this list of 6 things your baby needs to thrive and to feel loved might be handy :
Early Bonding & Loving Touch
Yes, touch your baby, hold your baby, caress your baby, massage your baby, let your baby rest on your skin.
Gaze in the eyes of your child and get lost in your baby’s eyes. They can read your love in your eyes.
Communicate with your baby, we are the only mammals who talk and well, a lot of your baby growth is done via oral communication. Don’t be obsessed with the baby talk, they are just fine with normal talk 😉
Smiling and Laughing
Smiling or laughing is the main way our body expresses joy. Have you ever notice that babies often smile during their sleep. it helps them grow the “social” part of their brain. Smiles and genuine attention help this part of the brain to grow.
Giving feedback to your baby
When a baby cries, it doesn’t know it is wet, tired, hungry, bored or hot – it just knows something is wrong, and it relies on a loving adult to soothe its feelings. The baby whose basic needs are met learns that the world is a good place, and he or she will retain this sense for life, as almost an instinct. So don’t ignore your baby when he/she is crying. If its needs are not met your baby will scream louder and louder and eventually take refuge in sleep… Eventually which is why a lot of old school people will give you this piece of advice: ‘‘Let them cry”
I would say instead: “Don’t let them cry too much” because a baby left to continually scream will experience raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can damage its immune system. So parents, focus on the love.
Do let me know your thoughts on this post. Best way to reach me is on IG @theinnerchilddoula.
Blessings of joy
N’Deye The Inner Child Doula
N’deye Fana Gueye is a story-teller and a blogger and the Author and Illustrator of forthcoming children’s book ”It’s cool to have a smart heart” which provides parents with tools to empower their precious kids and increase their emotional and social literacy. She is also a mentor and holistic therapist known as the Inner Child Doula and helps people reconnecting with their inner child through Inner Child Rebirthing Sessions. She is a Reiki-master and teaches mindfulness. She is a Change Catalyst and a Shadow work Evangelist and the Car Cluster Therapy™ is a tool she has created to help people understand the different aspects of their personality and take the driver’s seat. For her, people don’t need to be saved or rescued. People need to acknowledge their own power and to access it. Click here to find more.