Baby, Baby Care, Baby Growth and Support

Accompany babies optimally from the beginning

Accompany babies optimally from the beginning

Our children are already born with many skills and abilities: within a certain framework, they have self-regulation skills, can communicate their needs via signals and, if necessary, convey when something is wrong via crying. After a period of so-called “post-maturation” in the first few weeks, they take an active part in our everyday life and through this participation learn something of the world in which they move and gradually adapt to the particular framework of their family and living environment. In addition to the values, rituals and framework conditions specific to their family, there are general suggestions for everyday life that we can follow in everyday life.

Pay attention to the baby’s signals

Babies communicate through signals: they show a searching reflex when they are hungry or they suck their fists. When they get restless, they pull their legs up. If they have to leave, they become restless and communicate this with noises. When they turn their heads away from the game or from making eye contact, they need a break. It takes a while for us to understand our baby’s signals, but basically they are there and children communicate needs to us from an early age. To learn the baby’s signals, observation is a good idea: take the time to observe the baby. Lie down next to him and observe the gestures, the facial expressions and assign them to specific events.

talk to the baby

Even if they don’t answer us with words yet, babies absorb a lot from our language. Passive vocabulary increases and good communication in the first year of life not only affects later vocabulary but also reading and writing skills. It makes sense to accompany the many everyday activities with the baby verbally: Routine situations such as diaper changing, bathing, feeding are particularly suitable for this: “I’ll take your body off now. First, I’ll open these buttons here…” Our language adapts to the needs of the baby: We speak a little slower, but more emphasized and with a special melody so that the baby understands the peculiarities of the language.

… and listen to the baby

But not only are we supposed to talk a lot with the baby, the baby is also allowed to communicate: the way it makes sounds changes over the course of the first year, from sounds to syllables and finally to words. When we face and listen to the baby, he enjoys producing whatever sounds are possible and trying out how individual sounds and combinations are formed. The baby enjoys the production of language, especially when interacting with a caregiver: it coos and the adult coos back, causing the baby to coo again.

The baby needs closeness

Especially in the first year, many babies need physical closeness: They feel safe in the presence of a caregiver – both when sleeping and for the rest of the day. When they are close to a caregiver, they know they are protected, warmed and at a food source. Here they are safe and cared for and needs can be addressed quickly. Many babies also like to spend a lot of time in physical contact during the day, especially at the beginning, which is why a good carrying aid or sling can make everyday life easier.


… and free space

In addition to proximity, space for movement is also very important: roots and wings, as the saying goes. Babies are initially very unfamiliar with lying on their backs: from their time in the uterus, they only know the rounded posture that is assumed in a baby carrier. Lying on the pad is therefore initially strenuous for many babies and it is possible that this alone will make them restless. But if they are doing well, we should also give them the opportunity to lie down and deal with this new freedom around them (compared to the tightness before in the uterus) and also to explore the body and mobility. Thanks to the possibility of independent movement, they can gradually expand their possibilities and first move from the supine position to the side, then to the stomach,

Even with particularly delicate children, it is good if we give them the freedom to get to know and develop themselves independently and try not to let our fears and worries restrict the child’s freedom of movement too much. It is good to create a yes environment for the child to explore.

play together

In the first year of life, preoccupation with oneself and others as a game comes first: children explore themselves, the abilities and functions of the body and enjoy interacting with the people around them. In addition, exploring the rest of the world is a game: They want to touch the curtains as well as their parents’ hair, their sibling’s doll and want to use their mouths, which are much more sensitive than their hands, to explore the surface and properties of things. Babies don’t need many toys, particularly in their first year, and even after that play is still primarily about getting to know the world, which they do on their own .

…without gender stereotypes

We ourselves grew up with a lot of stereotypes, especially when it comes to gender. We now know from research that what we often attribute to “typical boys” or “typical girls” is less innate and more learned. It is rather small differences that we increase through our behavior and thus limit our children, instead of giving them the opportunity to develop freely and expand their very own characteristics and abilities. Even as babies, we can make sure that we don’t let our behavior be influenced by stereotypes: that we play ball with the baby – regardless of gender – play with dolls, read aloud, comfort it when it cries. Do we focus more on recognizing and accompanying the individual characteristics of our child than on whether that would be typical for one sex or the other: let’s observe whether it is more extroverted or introverted, whether it is rather quiet or loud, whether it is easily overstimulated or not. And do we also have a look at encouraging other people to see our child individually and not to treat them according to role stereotypes, so that not only we parents but also the rest of the family have the opportunity to get to know this child individually.

Pulling together and avoiding stress

Caring for a baby requires a lot of strength. More than we sometimes realize in everyday life. It is a task not intended for just one person alone. We need help, sharing, mutual appreciation. Above all, it helps us if we can avoid stress. Stress makes us less sensitive, less able to recognize our baby’s (and other people’s) signals, and stress makes us more hostile to others and more aggressive ourselves. This is how stress leads to negative parenting behavior. We cannot always avoid this stress in our fast-moving times, but we can do a few things to reduce it: plan our everyday life well and don’t forget ourselves in this planning as adults with our own needs, ask for and accept help. Above all, it is helpful to actively involve the other parent: In this way, a good relationship can be built up and accompanying the baby in an equally sensitive way reduces stress, because the baby learns to accept both parents as partners for the fulfillment of needs. Also, through an even division, we influence which inner images of parenthood and roles develop in the child, which further expands on the previous point of avoiding clichés.

With these few aspects, we can accompany our baby well in the first year and enable a good start through awareness and interaction.


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