People are rushing through life these days with work, childcare, and other daily chores. We are used to doing these tasks without stopping, paying attention to details and just enjoying what we are doing. How many times have you rushed for lunch? Without paying attention to the flavor of the food, the texture or the nutrients that the meals contain. This can cause stressful times in life and affect meaningful interactions with your child. Mindfulness is an opportunity to learn to be more present in the moment and to connect with your baby.
Dr. Amy Saltzman says, “Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention here and now, with kindness and curiosity, so that we can change our behavior.” With this definition in mind, I’m going to give you some ways to be more present with your baby. One of the most important aspects of a baby’s growth and development is the emotional bond and physical contact he creates with his primary caregivers (mom, dad, grandparents and other family members). The positive bond will be the basis of the baby’s emotional and cognitive development.
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One way to be attentive with your baby is to give him a massage. Start by laying the baby on a blanket, then start with the legs and move to the arms. Give light little massages and movements and while massaging make eye contact, smile and talk to your baby. You can also put relaxing baby music in the background.
Another way to be aware and present in the moment with your baby is to bathe him. Bath time is a great way to use the senses and follow your child’s lead. Together you can explore the warm water, smell the bubbles (if using scented bath bombs), hear the water splashing, and notice the rubber duck floating in the tub. While doing this, talk to your baby about what you are going through, it is a simple experience that can become meaningful when you are fully present in the moment.
Yoga poses with your baby are another form of incorporating movement into your mindful practices. Baby boat pose is a great way to feel a close connection with your baby. For this pose, follow the steps below:
1. Sit on your buttocks with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
3. Extend your arms forward (the baby is on your chest)
4. Inhale and exhale as you slowly rock back and forth
Here are some activities you can do at home to practice mindfulness with your baby. Some of these activities are taken from a kids yoga program called Kidding Around Yoga, I am a certified kids yoga teacher with this program, if you want more ideas you can visit their website: kiddingaroundyoga.com .
If you have any questions or want more ideas, you can contact me at my office number: 402-821-2151 or my email: [email protected] I service Saline, Gage, Jefferson and the Southeast region.