The six to eight week symbiotic period following birth is so precious. With all the changes involved, this period can feel so overwhelming. For me, I found a few insights that have kept me grounded and peaceful letting me experiencing these invaluable days to their fullest (most days anyway!)
“Delegate and don’t look” The midwife who assisted my birth, sagely offered these words as I prepared to go home. The time and patience necessary to bond with a new baby, to care for self and other children leave the concerns of household and work at the wayside. Have extra hands, be specific about needs, and let them work as they will.
Understanding the Human Being The Importance of the First Three Years of Life by Dr Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro. This book is packed full of physical and psychological insight toward newborns and up to age three. The ideas that have most impacted how I feel toward my child:
- The child has a need for another human to develop. We can be responsive without hyper- or hypo-responding. “Developing the right type of attachment during the symbiotic period paves the way for a natural detachment and the psychological birth happens.” “Only when a need is completely fulfilled is it overcome.”
- “Movement is one of the most important aspects of development in the first years of life.” “In prenatal life, the fetus is always active, using its body and limbs at will.” At birth, instead to swaddle and confine to small spaces, we can dress and provide spaces sufficient for movement. “The child tries to continue to move as it used to, but finds it impossible. All his motor skills vanish.” “A tragic aspect of the development of movement is that, generally, the more children are able to do, the more they are restricted in their freedom of activity. They go from crib to infant seat to baby carriage, high chair and play pen.” “The child is surrounded by an organized effort to restrain his development!”
“Onesies have crisscrossed shoulders for a reason” Did you know the shoulders of most infant clothing have folded flaps to make sliding down off the body easy rather than over the head? How did I never realize this! Thank you for sharing my friend, Keeley.
Thalasso Bain Bebe Watch this bathing technique by nurse Sonia Rochel as it speaks for itself. I can say, having approached the bath in this manner, doing with the child rather than to the child, has been pleasurable for baby and for myself.
Hand-me-downs are progressive. I am not sure I would have accepted this for my first-born, but practicality has taken over with my second-born. I am grateful for the infant seat and baby clothes from cousins, a like-new baby carrier from a friend and a stroller from another. It feels good to consume less and to give good use to perfectly good stuff.