Creative Child

Getting Off On the Right Foot: Positive Parenting Tips for New Moms

by Rebecca Eanes

Congratulations on your new baby! I know you’ve heard this no less than 334 times already, but I’ll say it again. Soak in those new baby snuggles. Breathe in her scent. It doesn’t last long enough.

Most people talk about positive parenting in terms of gentle, respectful discipline, so you’re probably not thinking of that just yet. While that is a part of the philosophy, positive parenting begins on day one because it’s about the relationship you intentionally develop with your child.

Honestly, discipline will come easier when your baby becomes a toddler if you build a great relationship and learn the basics of positive parenting now.

Tip #1: Build Trust

Trust is the foundation upon which you will build your relationship. Your baby learns to trust you when you when you respond to her warmly and promptly and meet her needs for food, attention, clean diaper, etc. Letting babies cry damages trust and stresses their bodies. While some experts recommend allowing babies to cry it out or feeding your baby on a schedule, please follow your gut instinct on these issues.

Trust is also built in the loving, gentle interactions you provide every day. When you smile at her, stroke her head, sing, and hold her close, you’re making deposits into the trust account.

Tip #2: Learn to Communicate

Last week I wrote a piece on communicating with your baby. You can read that in full here, and I’ll summarize by saying this includes learning to read your baby’s cues, discerning between her cries, copying her sounds and gestures, showing interest when she communicates by looking at her, describing objects and activities, responding to non-verbal cues, mirroring sounds and facial expressions, teaching her sign language, singing and talking to her often, and reading to her.

Build the positive communication skills now that will be vital as your baby grows throughout the years.

More tips continued on the next page...

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