I recently met a friend’s 10 week old baby, whom everybody at the gathering agreed that this was one of the most beautiful, gentle, relaxed babies that they had ever met. He was unfussed by all the commotion around him, slept, woke, fed, and just went with the flow. He was passed around and not at any point was he irritated. The only time I heard him cry – and it was hardly a cry – was to let mum know he was hungry. He was immediately fed and all was well again.
What was so different about this baby?? Now I’m not going to tell any mother how they should or should not be raising their child, I just want to open a few minds and show what these parents are doing... Every mum seems to cop criticism for their parenting and I am not trying to criticise any mum - everyone does what they can. Many, many babies who don't fit this story still grow up to be beautiful children and adults. This is simply what I have noticed from this baby and how he fits into the continuum.
This baby was born in the comfort of his home, with mum, dad and an independent midwife. There were no interventions – no drugs, no poking and prodding, and no stresses imposed by hospital protocols. This baby was born normally and naturally. Baby was born calmly. Mum and Baby knew what they were doing and trusted each other. All of the right physiological reactions for each of them occurred – the reflexes, the movements and the hormones for love and bonding were released. The baby was allowed to crawl to mum’s breast for his first feed.
The other thing that people noticed at this gathering was that Mum and Dad never once put Baby down. He was constantly carried by someone, with Mum or Dad nearby. Baby also sleeps in the same bed as Mum and Dad, and in the middle of the night when it’s time for a feed, everyone hardly wakes because they are so in tune with each other’s needs and can help each other.
This baby has had its needs met since day dot. All a baby needs is love and nutrition. This baby will not once have felt insecure because he will always know where mum or dad is. He will never feel that he is alone and afraid. He will never be irritated for long because he is hungry, because Mum is always there to provide food for him. Even when he is asleep He still knows where Mum is because he can feel her comforting heartbeat. What else is there to cry for? He knows mum is there to help and will always be there. Maybe a dirty nappy or if he really is crying maybe he is not well? But in general there is not much else to cry for... He’s got the love and attention He needs by being held.
I know a lot of you reading this may think ‘Well this baby is going to grow up needing mum all the time, and not learn to be independent’ but in fact the opposite is true. Up until the age of 6, a child’s brain is purely ‘downloading’. They take in everything and anything and aren’t thinking for themselves until age 6. So while this baby is downloading everything around him, he sees how to interact, how to behave in social situations, how to go about day-to-day activities like his parents from a very early age. Work is not seen as work but rather an activity that is just done. He sees all this rather than the roof of a pram or the view from a playpen – He is amongst it. There will be a point where he will choose that he wants more independence rather than it being forced upon Him and this will usually be at a younger age than other children. He will grow up believing that all his needs can be met. He will grow up feeling secure and loved and deserving of love.
I don’t know if the parents have learned about the Continuum Concept, or if it was only instinctively that they followed this way of parenting. Either way, I’m sure if you asked them, all of this apparent extra effort that many would assume with this style of parenting, is actually not really work, and that it is actually loving and enjoyable. Of course, because every mum and baby and family is different, not all of this will necessarily work easily for everyone, but the continuum concept provides some fantastic ideas to consider.
If you want more information look up – The Continuum Concept or Natural Parenting
About the Blog
Hands on Health Chiropractic shares with you some helpful information regarding healthy living