Baby care: fostering a sense of security through mindfulness
A mindful approach to caring for your baby
Baby care involves much more than changing nappies and bathing. Moments of care are also a time of bonding, communication and attentiveness. With a mindful approach, caring for your baby’s skin can become an important moment of intimate bonding.
What is mindful care?
When parents think about caring for their baby, what often comes to mind are the many daily tasks: changing nappies, bathing and washing, dressing and undressing, etc. Since so much time is spent on baby care, especially in the beginning, such seemingly routine tasks are more than just a matter of hygiene: they are moments of togetherness, affection and undivided attention. In addition to your body care, imparting a sense of rhythm and a mindful approach can foster bonding and sensitivity and encourage independence. Through mindful care, parents show that they perceive and respect their child’s body along with its limitations. In doing so, parents lay the foundation for their child’s healthy body awareness, fostering a natural approach to self-care.
With mindful, loving body care, moments of intense bonding and love between baby and parents can develop and grow daily.
Tips for mindful body care
Bonding is strengthened in the many moments of everyday life in which parents meet their child with respect and love. Consider the suggestions below for a more mindful approach to your baby’s daily care:
- Take your time: In our often hectic day-to-day lives, mindfulness can mean consciously incorporating windows of time for your child’s body care. This means allowing your child to participate actively – if they are given the time to do so, even small babies will cooperate according to their abilities in many situations.
- Announce your actions: As with many other everyday activities, during baby care it’s important for parents to actually tell their baby what they are about to do. Even before they are able to speak, babies can understand many things from birth onwards. Addressing them directly and announcing your actions shows your respect and trust in their capabilities.
- Attune yourself to baby’s signals: The most important tool in bonding is sensitivity. Attentive parents learn to perceive and respond to their baby’s signals. This fosters trust and a sense of security. For the child it means: Here I am well cared for, my needs are being seen and fulfilled.
- Slow things down: Almost all of your baby’s experiences babies after birth are new. There are many stimuli every day. A child’s brain takes much longer to process these stimuli than an adult brain. Parents should therefore adapt their actions to their child’s reaction time. By slowing things down, parents can be more attentive to their children’s signals and learn understand their child better.
- Create sheltered spaces: A sheltered space allows for retreat and reassurance. During a nappy change, babies are exposed to many stimuli at once: they are undressed, feel air on their skin and are touched in many places. You can place a rolled towel on the changing mat like an inverted U to create a safe boundary. This helps baby feel more secure. Routines also foster a sense of security.
How mindful care conveys a sense of security
The first weeks and months with baby are an exciting time. Along with the many changes to family life in general, baby care is a new responsibility which poses many challenges for parents. With time, patience and a mindful approach, parents will gain more confidence in responding sensitively to their baby’s needs. This in turn affects the parent-child relationship. The feeling of being in safe and loving hands fosters a deep sense of trust in the baby. Through mindful daily care, parents can thus ensure that their baby feels secure.
Skin care products for delicate baby skin
A baby’s skin is five times thinner than that of adults and must first adapt to the conditions outside the womb. Baby skin care products should therefore be specially formulated to meet its specific needs. They should only contain a few, high-quality ingredients of natural origin. Plant oils are very similar to the lipid structures of human skin. They can be easily integrated into its natural protective layer, without forming an occlusive film on the surface of the skin – allowing delicate baby skin to develop. Weleda baby care products contain only high-quality ingredients and provide delicate baby skin with everything it needs in this important phase of life and development.
For the first months we recommend using a nappy cream to keep the nappy area dry and prevent irritation, and a natural body oil, such as Calendula Baby Oil (Fragrance Free). It can be used for general skin care, for mild cleansing in the nappy area, and for baby massage. This skin care oil is also suitable for the treatment of dry skin.
What’s the best way to care for the nappy area?
Midwives often recommend letting babies wiggle around for a while without clothes or nappies, so they can enjoy some nappy-free time, if the environment permits. The warm, damp environment in the nappy area can irritate the skin, especially if the nappies are worn for too long. Exposure to fresh air is also good for healing sore spots on baby’s bottom. Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream provides effective care for irritated and reddened skin in the nappy area and protects against moisture with zinc oxide.