When your baby enters the world, she is transitioning from a cozy, dark, comforting womb to a state of constant bombardment of new experiences. Take a moment and imagine the amount of stimulation a new baby must feel. Each day is full of new sights and sounds, and all that activity can be taxing on a baby’s fragile nervous system.
One way parents can help provide a sense of calm and comfort is to establish routines to help baby wind down. By repeating the same steps day after day, your baby becomes accustomed with what to expect and isn’t strained by having to learn something new.
Over time, you and your baby will begin to fall into a rhythm that becomes your own special ritual.
A ritual is more than a routine – a ritual is unique to you. It’s like an inside joke. Only you and your baby are “in” on your ritual. That’s because the nuances you bring to it are what make it special and are what create the loving bond between you and your baby.
To help get you started in creating your own baby bonding rituals, Weleda, maker of plant-rich, certified natural baby skincare products, captured some examples of how real moms take everyday moments and turn them into special rituals to bond with their babies. Here are three calming rituals for new babies.
A warm, soapy bath helps to comfort and calm. For mom or dad, it’s a chance to press pause and be 100% present with your baby. As mom Christina Vega says, “Performing these rituals affects me personally, because then I know that I’m doing good for my son.” Watch Christina’s bath time ritual here:
A massage provides the touch babies crave to feel safe. Babies relax their muscles and learn to trust your gentle rubs. New mom Jessica Morse notes that as she helps her baby calm down, she calms down as well. Watch Jessica’s massage ritual here:
Bedtime provides a final opportunity in the day to share a bonding ritual. Every parent has a different approach, incorporating a favorite lullaby, game, or book. But all of them share one important trait: the dependable routine helps babies feel safe and calm, laying the foundation for peaceful sleep. And once baby drifts off, parents can get some much-needed sleep of their own.
Your Favorite Rituals
Every family has a different set of rituals, and we enjoy hearing about how parents connect with their babies in so many different ways. Take a moment to think about your current daily routine with baby. Here are a few questions to reflect on:
- Which activities are part of your family’s daily routine or rituals?
- Do these take place in the same order most days? What are some of the barriers to providing a predictable routine?
- For mom or dad, do these tasks feel like chores, or important opportunities to share an experience with the baby?
- How could these activities be modified to provide an even stronger connection between mom or dad and baby?