Building Our Babies Box gives parents essential information
⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten ⌛
Having a baby, especially as a new parent, is an exciting venture that is full of unknowns. You could have read countless books and researched to your heart’s content prior to having your baby, but there’s always something that catches you off guard. You’re building a new human being. That can be intimidating, right?
The new Building Our Babies Box helps parents establish trust and security with their babies while easing some of the stress that comes along with raising a baby. It’s perfect for new and seasoned parents, as well as caregivers. It’s a one-stop shop for baby education and activities.
On a personal level, I have used the box with my niece, Aubree. I’ve learned a lot in the process! The box and the experience of watching my niece have better prepared me for when I have my own child.
We’re going to give you a preview of the Building Our Babies Box. But, don’t worry — we won’t spoil the fun for you and your baby! Here are five essential tips (out of a slew of wonderful tips in the box!) that will ensure your baby has a bright start:
Secure Attachment Bond
Attachment theory states that a baby forms attachments to his or her caregivers in the first year of life. That means that secure attachment bonds are essential in helping to assess your babies' needs while cultivating the foundation to help them find success later in life. Not only does it help your baby in the present, but it can help him or her obtain academic success, maintain self-esteem and form positive relationships in the future.
According to mother.ly, you can form a secure attachment by doing the following:
- Be attuned to your baby’s needs and try to respond them as quickly as you can.
- Participate in your baby’s interests.
- Pay attention to your baby’s changing needs within each interaction.
- Be positive — even in times of stress.
- Be sure to vary your activities and interactions with your child, from making a popping sound to splashing during bath time.
- Provide support when your baby needs it.
Empathy and Stress
Even the youngest of babies can read emotions. One day, my anxiety was in high gear while watching my niece. She was only a few months old at the time, and she hadn’t quite developed her serve-and-return behavioral skills yet. She could sense I was having a rough time because her facial expression changed to one of concern. Suddenly, her little arms outreached and she pressed her lips to mine, kissing me in my highest time of anxiety. She helped more than she knew! On the positive side, she can also read happy emotions, like when she starts to giggle when I sing and dance to her. Her reaction makes me laugh, and it starts a chain reaction.
It’s vital to keep keepin’ on, even in times of high stress. Take a breather. Do something that helps you and your self-care. Call someone you trust and ask him or her to watch your baby for a little while as you recalibrate. The important thing to note is that you can’t always keep your cool. You will have good instances and not-so-good ones. But, that’s OK! Fake it until you make it.
Here's more about how stress can affect your baby.
Infant massage is a vital part of your routine with your baby. It can help form secure bonds, and starting this process early can help your child with his or her motor skills and build a healthy brain. Plus, if you find that your baby is colicky or has an upset stomach, infant massage can be a way to relieve your baby’s symptoms and overall stress levels.
You can start massaging your baby when he or she is a newborn. Use oil, like olive oil or something purchased in the baby section at your local store, to massage your baby’s back, stomach, legs, arm, chest and more. Massaging can last 10 to 30 minutes, and it’s recommended to test the oil on a small patch of skin before using it. That way, you’ll know if your baby has a skin allergy to the oil.
Here’s a video/article to help lead you through the process! Below is a beginner's video explaining infant massage with our baby model, Aubree!
Reading to Your Baby
It’s never too early to read to your baby. Or, in my case, tell the stories of my family to my niece. When she was a newborn, my stories would put her to sleep! If you’re struggling to get your baby on a semi-consistent sleep schedule, try reading or telling stories. It could work! The first book I ever read to my niece was Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, one of my favorite stories from childhood. It didn’t matter that it was August. I just had to share that one with her.
Fisher Price (and several other sources) recommend starting telling stories to your child from birth. By age three to six months, your child will begin to look at colors and shapes. By age six months to 12 months, your baby will be more interactive and can sit in your lap and look at the book. Just beware of sharp corners! Babies like to put everything in their mouths at this age because they are usually teething.
The written word is so important to me that I am currently working on my Plastic Cupcakes project. It’s a counting book from aunt to niece. Of course, it is dedicated to my niece.
It takes two-way communication to help build strong bonds and practice serve-and-return. Be as interactive as possible with your child with back-and-forth interactions. Pay attention to what your child is playing with or looking at and the sounds he or she is making. Use those cues to return the serve. You could ask a question, engage in play time and more. Be sure to show encouragement and name the action. You could say, “That’s a puppy” or “That’s a number” and count to ten. Show your child what it’s like to take turns and share interactions.
Lately, my niece has loved her play cell phone. I will press the call button, and a kid-friendly voice will say,” Boujour!” and “Au revoir!” I will pretend to answer it, and she will laugh and reach for the phone. I’m teaching her communications skills from a young age (ha).
Playing peekaboo and hand-and-foot play are fun ways to help your child (or niece!) learn basic motor skills and so many other things.
To learn more and to get your own Building Our Babies Box, visit the Facebook page!
Copyright © MMXVIII Hourglass Omnimedia, LLC
Kaylin R. Staten is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer. She owns Hourglass Omnimedia, a consulting company based in Huntington, WV.
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