Mindful Baby Care

Mindful Baby Care

Babycare: nurturing a sense of security through mindfulness

A mindful approach to caring for your baby

When parents think about caring for their baby, what often comes to mind are the many everyday tasks: changing nappies, bathing and washing (Link Bathtime Bonding), dressing and undressing and so on. Since so much time is spent on baby care, especially in the beginning, these seemingly routine tasks are more than just a matter of hygiene: they are moments of togetherness, affection and undivided attention. In addition to keeping your baby clean, a mindful approach can strengthen the bond with your baby, whilst also developing your baby’s sense of touch and building confidence. Through mindful care, parents communicate their respect for their baby and that they understand and are tuned in to their baby’s needs and wants. 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 time for your child to participate actively – if they are given the time to do so, even small babies will cooperate, as far as they can, in many situations.
  • Talk to your baby: as with many other everyday activities, when caring for your baby it’s important to chat to your baby and explain what you are about to do at each step. Even before they are able to speak, babies can understand many things from birth onwards. Addressing them directly and chatting through each move shows your respect and trust in their capabilities.
  • Attune yourself to baby’s signals: the most important tool in bonding is awareness. Attentive parents learn to pick up and respond to their baby’s signals. This builds trust and a sense of security. For the child it means: I am being well cared for, my needs are being appreciated and met.
  • Slow things down: almost all of your baby’s experiences 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 sensitive to their child’s signals and so 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 the cold air on their skin and are handled in a very physical way - lifted, placed down, cleaned, redressed and so on. You can place a rolled towel on the changing mat like an inverted U to create a safe boundary. This will help your baby to feel more secure. Routines also foster a sense of security
How mindful care conveys a sense of security
The first weeks and months with your 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 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 our skin’s natural lipids. They can be easily absorbed by 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 sensitive baby skin with everything it needs in this important phase of life and development.
For the first few months we recommend using a nappy cream to keep the nappy area dry and to prevent irritation, and a natural body oil, such as Calendula Baby Oil. The baby oil can be used for general skin care and moisturising, for gentle cleansing of the nappy area, and for baby massage (link baby massage). This baby oil is also suitable for the treatment of dry skin, including the scalp (link to cradle cap page?).

What’s the best way to care for the nappy area?
Midwives often recommend letting babies have some nappy-free time without clothes or nappies, so they can enjoy the freedom of being without a nappy, if the opportunity arises. The warm, damp environment in the nappy area can irritate the skin, especially if wet nappies are worn for too long. Exposure to fresh air is also good for healing any little sore patches on your baby’s bottom. Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream provides effective care for irritated and reddened skin in the nappy area and protects against wetness with comforting zinc oxide.