Babies cry like the sky is falling whenever there is a small change in the surroundings or when they are at an unfamiliar place. This is because they have no other way to express that they are anxious about the unfamiliarity, or if they are uncomfortable.
This might get new mums feeling “there goes the shopping trips, gatherings, sightseeing, or any kind of ‘life’ 0utside of home!” Fear not, mum! Part of the 100 first days with a baby is teaching him or her about life outside the tummy, and that it’s okay to be in unfamiliar places. It’s all about learning to soothe baby as they go through the transition process of learning to adapt and feeling secure no matter the place.
For mums, it’s also a learning process to identify the signs (aside from crying) that show when your baby is feeling anxious in a new environment. Let’s start with some insights and signs to know when your baby is anxious:
Why is the baby crying?
When your baby feels unsafe or insecure in an environment, especially when there are many strangers around, his or her most common response is to cry out loud.
Secure attachment in infants: embracing your baby is the most direct way to boost her sense of security. | Image source: iStock
Why is baby suddenly clingy?
When the baby refuses to let anyone else except Mum handle or hold him (or her), that is baby expressing that he/she feels nervous and unsafe in this new environment.
Why is the baby so restless?
When a baby does not feel safe, he/she usually becomes more sensitive and irritable to anything foreign. The anxiousness that the baby feels often manifests in crying, having difficulty falling asleep and/or becomes restless in sleep.
Thankfully, Mums can reduce their baby’s anxiety and give them a sense of security they need through the following 5 simple tips to ready them for new environments.
5 Tips for Mums To Help Ready Their Baby For New Environments
These tips can help foster secure attachment in infants and prepare them for unfamiliar environments.
1. Make frequent eye contact with the baby. Nothing comforts a baby as much as knowing Mum’s there.
When a baby is born, he or she can see things within a range of about 30 centimetres, which is the distance from the baby’s face to Mum’s when she’s breastfeeding. This forms a strong bond between Mum and baby and makes baby feel safe or at home whenever Mum’s around. If you notice that your baby is feeling unsafe or anxious, remember to make frequent eye contact to reassure your baby that he or she is safe because you’re there to make sure of that.
2. Embracing your baby is the most direct way to boost her sense of security.
The best way to build a strong parent-child relationship is through physical affection such as warm hugs and cuddles. Physical contact makes the baby feel safe and secure. Experts believe that the sense of touch is the most developed sense of a baby. Hence, holding the baby close to you is often one of the best ways to cultivate a sense of security and promote both physical and emotional development.
Mums can foster secure attachment in infants by making eye contact, holding, and cuddling baby. Image source: iStock
3. Spend more time together to build a close parent-child relationship.
Companionship is another essential part of building a good parent-child relationship and cultivating your baby’s sense of security. Research shows that it is best for Mums not to leave their baby for more than 7 days during infancy, as there is a possibility to cause psychological trauma to their child.
Therefore, when Mum spends enough time with her baby, her companionship helps the baby feel safe and, which allows him/her to feel it’s okay to explore and be okay with new environments. Companionship is important to help babies reduce their anxiety, and readies them to take on an unfamiliar world.
4. Talking to baby to make them more at ease.
Although your baby has not yet learned your spoken language, he or she loves to hear Mum’s voice and can feel the emotions in what Mum is saying. As such, Mums are encouraged to talk to the baby often in a gentle tone because sometimes, a baby’s anxiety could be triggered by the surrounding noise. Hence, listening to Mum who has a comforting, gentle, and calm tone helps them feel safe no matter how noisy the environment may be.
An added tip for Moms to know is when communicating with a baby or with someone else close to the baby, it’s important to pay extra attention to your tone. Avoid shouting or using harsh tones that babies can pick up on that causes them to feel stressed, confused, or unsafe.
5. Do your best to ensure an environment that feels safe for baby.
It is important for a baby to feel that her surroundings are stable, safe, and secure. This is a problem for Mums, especially when you need to take the baby out to a new, unfamiliar face with noises you can’t control. At these times, it’s important for Mums to make the right preparations beforehand to make the baby feel as safe and comfortable as he or she can be. Things that Mums can consider packing for the day out or trip is a familiar toy that they know their babies love.
The Fisher-Price® Soothe N Glow Seahorse is a unique plush soother that helps comfort your baby just like you do. Its soft belly moves up and down in a rhythmic motion that mimics breathing to help soothe your baby naturally, along with up to 30 minutes of calming music, sound effects, and soft lights. With its sweet face, super snuggly fabrics, and satiny tail, the Soothe N Glow Seahorse is a perfect cuddle friend for your baby; helping baby feel comforted and at ease wherever and whenever.
In summary, when your baby is upset and crying in a new environment, Mum should first consider whether the surroundings are making him/her feel unsafe. Every baby is unique when it comes to physical or emotional growth. Hence, the methods provided in this article may not work for every child.secure attachment in infant
This article was first produced by Fisher-Price and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
All parenting advice in this article is only intended for reference. We recommend that you consult your healthcare provider for help and advice.
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