By JANE KINGSU CHENG
To quote early childhood educator Magda Gerber, “A respectful beginning is an investment in the future.” No matter how young your baby is, it is integral that you (and your caregiver) start off with a good and trusting relationship with your child.
Teacher Tanya Velasco, mom to two daughters, agrees with this idea wholeheartedly. A preschool teacher for more than 13 years, she is an advocate for respectful care and facilitates parent-infant and toddler classes and seminars. She shares with us some reminders on how to gain our babies’ trust. You’d be surprised how these simple tips can help everyone in raising a happy baby.
1. Touch makes all the difference.
Remember how kisses and hugs always seemed to make things better? Science has proven that touch reduces cortisol levels, the stress hormone. The more you hold your baby and respond to your baby’s emotional cues, the less stress both parties will be. So when your baby cries, soothe them with lots of hugs.
2. Slowly let go.
As parents, we’re always caught in between making sure our babies are safe and letting them explore the world. “Can he do it on his own?” “He might hit the wall when he crawls.” “I’ll do it for you” Do these phrases ring a bell?
As infant educator and pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler said, “An infant’s own movement, the development of these movements, every detail of this development, are a constant source of joy to him.”