How to create a Baby friendly environment

Making the transition from mommy’s tummy to the outside world is scary … And sometimes difficult for a baby.

Here are some tips on how to make the transition smoother, this will help in having a happier and healthier baby. Babies learn and understand the world through interaction with the environment and the sensory input they receive.

1. Sound:

Lullabies and classical music are calming for newborn. This can be played when putting the baby to sleep.

2.Vision:

Colours that are pale and dimmer are calming for baby. Block out curtains will help with babies sleep/awake cycle.

3. Scent:

Smells such as lavender and chamomile oil can be applied to baby’s clothes or pillow at bed time. Babies also love the smell of their mothers.

4. Touch:

Deep pressure is what baby enjoys best. A massage, a snuggly hug or blankets are ways in which this sensation can be provided.

3 ways to help calm a newborn/self-regulate:

1. Swaddle

Wrap baby tightly in a blanket during nap and sleeping times. Swaddling provides a similar sensation to the constant pressure baby received in the utero.

How_to_swaddle

 

2. Self soothe

When the baby cries, teach him/her to take their hands to the mouth to suck which will soon help independence or use a pacifier. This helps baby learn about self-soothing and prevents the idea of ‘you’ becoming the dummy.

baby-pacifier-photo-420x420-ts-81266742

3. Slow rocking/swaying

An example:

Hold baby in your arms and gently rock in a linear plane, try a baby-carrying pouch or rocking chairs/cribs.

momandbabyinrockingchair

Baby’s main source of interaction and learning during this time (their first month of life) is through mom.

So moms, a few more tips:

  • Talk to baby during awake times.
  • Try not to wear any harsh smelling perfumes, baby finds the smell of breast milk pleasant.
  • Wear softer, more comfortable clothing that will not irritate baby’s skin and most of all give your baby love, love, love 🙂 …

In next month’s post, we will start discussing the various age appropriate milestones a baby should be achieving.

Read Rashika’s first blog post: Making sense of my senses in mommy’s tummy.

About Author: 

rashika singh

Rashika Singh completed her Bachelor of Sciences in Occupational Therapy at Wits in 2011. She is currently employed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto where she works as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist. She is also a locum therapist at Talk Sense OT in Bryanston.  She is currently completing her qualification in sensory integration.

She is passionate about kids and ensures her therapy is child and family centered and of course fun and playful.

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4 Comments

  1. shelahmoss
    2014-10-09 / 15:50

    Wow! You really thought of everything. I wish that I had read this when I had a baby.

  2. 2014-10-09 / 16:12

    Those sweet moments don’t last long! Cherish every bit of it.

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