5 steps to a healthy connection with your baby

9 09 2011

Editors’ note: This content is provided by Early Moments Matter, a campaign dedicated to making sure every child has the best possible chance at emotional well-being. Find out how to receive the Early Moments Matter tool kit and provide one to a family in need.

Step 1

Understand your child’s cues and style of communication
第一步:明白宝宝的沟通信号和沟通方式

Each baby has her own way of expressing herself, but many cues are universal. Rooting and sucking actions usually signal that it’s time for nursing, feeding, or comfort­ing with something to suck on. An arched back signals overstimulation or discomfort. A frown may mean the light is too bright or that your child is worried.
Crying is one of those cues that can mean many things – and when the baby is screaming at the top of her lungs, it can be very frustrating. If you can stay calm, it’s helpful to go through your checklist of what the child might be trying to tell you – “I’m tired,” “Change my diaper,” “Feed me,” “I don’t feel well, Mommy.”
每个宝宝都有它特有的表达方式,但是也不乏一些共同的信号。譬如,吮吸动作(rooting怎么翻译?)通常就是表明肚子饿了,该喂奶了,或者需要给个奶嘴安抚一下了;背拱起来通常表明刺激过头了,不舒服了;皱眉头或许表明灯光太亮。啼哭通常说明很多问题。如果宝宝发出撕心裂肺的声音,多半表明它非常难受(废话)。这个时候如果你能耐下心来,一项项检查宝宝可能的需求,譬如,是不是累了啊,尿布该换了啊,饿了了,或者“妈妈,我不舒服了”等等,那是最好不过了。

Step 2

Create a foundation of security and trust with your baby
和孩子之间建立安全感和信任感

As you learn to read and respond to cues, and your baby begins to trust that her most basic needs will be met and that the sur­roundings are safe – essential for healthy attachment – you can help your child discover how to adapt to changes in the environment through self-regulation and self-soothing. These behaviors start developing in the womb and are especially evident in the first month after birth. Both are important skills in creating a foundation for security and trust.
随着你逐渐读懂宝宝的暗示,你的宝宝便开始产生一种信任感:它觉得它的大多数基本需求将被满足,并且对于周围的环境感到安全,尤其是健康方面的。你还可以帮助它发现如何通过自身的调节和自我安慰去适应环境的变化。这些行为自娘胎就开始了,在出生后头一个月尤其明显。建立一个安全感和信任感的基础是一个非常重要的技巧。

Step 3

Provide consistent and responsive parenting
提供持续并且及时的关爱

Each interaction with your baby is an opportunity for attachment. Al­though no parent makes a connec­tion every time, the goal is to create a consistent pattern.

Parents who accept and validate their child’s emotional communica­tions send a powerful message: “Your feelings matter, you will be taken care of, and you have a trustworthy and secure base from which to explore.” One way to validate a child’s emotions is by verbally acknowledging the discom­fort, stimulation, or whatever the child is feeling. Again, it doesn’t matter that your child can’t understand your words – she senses your intention.
跟孩子的每一次接触都是建立联系的机会。尽管没有父母每次都可以建立联系,但是我们的目标是给孩子一个持续不断的感觉。

Step 4

Connect with your child through touch, physical comfort, laughter, and play

Some parents fear they might be spoiling their babies by constantly holding and carrying them. But because an infant’s brain and body systems are so immature at birth, a newborn has no capacity for in­dependence and needs your loving touch and support. Studies over the last several decades show substan­tial lifelong advantages in physical, mental, social, and emotional health for children who receive consistent, warm, positive attention and care that’s appropriate for their develop­mental stage.
Step 5

Care for yourself and for your own emotional well-being

With all the focus on reading your baby and responding to her, it’s easy to lose sight of your own needs. But they are just as important! As a new mother, you may feel like your body’s been through an earthquake, and it’s essential that you take care of it – eating well, getting outside, and walking and resting as much as you can.

For both parents, stress, exhaustion, irritability, and the desire to withdraw from your partner – even the world – are typical. Postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mood changes are also very common. All these changes can have a significant impact on your baby’s ability to develop healthy attachment.

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