Wednesday, May 12, 2010


For a while now I have been watching that modern trend of carrying your infant around all day, of wrapping him in blankets and hold him onto your chest for hours and - this is not a modern trend - of bouncing and rocking him. I have never understood the parents that have been bouncing the pram with a crying baby inside like mad. Even in buses or trams that have the bouncy effect themselves. I always felt that the baby must get sick from all the bouncing. But I never had a child myself and held back. Now I fell into those discussions and I am seriously annoyed by one special argument:

"But that's what the child experienced for the past 9 months in the uterus."

Exactly. Past tense. ExperiencED. As hard as it is for the little one, this time is over.
I do agree that we should help him on his "way out" and make it as low stressful as possible. I love "Birth without violence" by Frederick Leboyer and I am grateful to have given birth in a hospital that is practicing this method. But I don't think that it is right to "pretend" a world that is not there anymore. In fact I believe that we should help the little one adjust to "our world" as much as we can. The rest is an experience everyone has to go through.

Imagine coming back from a fantastic holiday in the south, days on the beach and lots of sun. Now you are back to rainy days and work. Would you like your boss to put up a high sun and blue sky in the office while you still have to catch up with work from the past two weeks? Or would you rather face reality but take it a little slow on catching up with work and have colleagues that help you settle back in? I am not saying that this is the case most of the time, unfortunately it isn't but imagine you had the choice.

Adjusting to life outside the uterus is a process no carrying device, no bouncy chair, no tight wrapped blanket can stop, they can actually just extend that process.
So help your newborn grow into our world, talk to him, be there for him and respect that he needs time and space. Don't interfere, watch him and listen to his needs.
As hard as it sounds - this is all you can do.

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