Chapter Ten

                           Along Comes Baby

Consider some of the noble characteristics of infancy:

  • The ability to live in the present
  • The ability to love
  • The ability to communicate nonverbally
  • Physical beauty
  • Fearlessness
  • Spontaneity
  • Their ability to live from their center
  • The ability to forgive effortlessly

There are many reasons to admire your babies.

A.M. Joosten says that besides admiring them, we can also recognize, according to Dr. Maria Montessori,
“that (0-6 years) is the time when man’s intelligence…is being formed…But not only his intelligence; the
full totality of his psychic powers…At no other age has the child greater need of intelligent help, and any
obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.”1

It is time to take to heart the teachings of people wise in the ways of human development, such as Virginia
Satir: “New parents have much that is new to learn. For instance, many adults are ignorant of how
emotions affect behavior and intelligence. Somehow or other we have been a long time seeing that
knowledge is an important tool for peoplemaking. We see it in the raising of pigs, but not so much with
people. In some ways we got the idea that raising families was all instinct and intent, and we behave as if
anyone could be an effective parent simply because he wanted to be, or because we just happened to go
through the acts of conception and birth. This is the most complicated job in the world and most of us act
as if we can all be great parents simply by going through the motions and taking a label. I often think of
the terrible burden so many parents carry. They are expected to be experts, and they are not, even
though some may act like it, (but are inwardly not really sure).”2

To put it bluntly, as was done in the movie Parenthood, “You have to have a license to have a dog…you
even have to have a license to catch a fish! But any *#@! can be a father!”

                              Preparation For Pregnant Mothers

Be sure your self-esteem is strong. If not, before the child is born is a good time to work on healing it, so
all the goodness that comes your way will not run out the cracks in your self-esteem. You will be able to
believe you deserve to have good experiences. Then you can be full of goodness to pass on to your child.

Practice centering, quieting your inner dialogue, and getting in touch with the innermost parts of your
being.

Think positive thoughts about the other person within your body.

Keep physically active doing what you love to do.

It seems best not to change your diet drastically once you are pregnant. You can improve your nutrition
by adding more fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables to your diet. You can also add freshly made,
unheated fruit and vegetable juices, sprouts of various types, and seaweeds. Whatever you do to
improve your diet, if you feel that it is necessary, be sure that it suits you, that it tastes good and makes
you feel good.

Prepare yourself to interact respectfully with the new human being taking form within you.

You need to learn about babies and young children. Learn now. Later use what suits you and discard the
rest.

                               Preparation For Pregnant Fathers

Fathers! You had better prepare yourself also. The attention that you have received from your mates is,
very likely, about to take a serious drop. You must prepare to share the mother’s attention with the new
baby, maybe even more than you have expected.

The loss of much of the new mother’s attention can be made up for by being sure your self-esteem is in
good shape. If it’s not, before the child is born is a good time to work on healing it, so all the goodness
that comes your way will not run out the cracks in your self-esteem. You will be able to believe you
deserve to have good experiences. Then you can be full of goodness to pass on to your child.

Practice centering, quieting your inner dialogue, and getting in touch with the innermost parts of your
being.

Prepare yourself to interact respectfully with the new human being taking form.

Do your best to have paternity leave so you, too, can enjoy time welcoming the new member of the family,
establishing new family patterns, and, of course, helping out in the home.

Making time to bond with the infant can help to make up for losing some of your mate’s attention.

Spending time giving attention to and receiving attention from your other children, if you have any, can
truly help the whole family.

You also need to learn about babies and young children.

                                        Respecting The Newborn

A newborn is a very unique being. During the first ten days, those I have held radiated such wondrous
energy that I felt I was touching a saint.

For a gentle, smooth transition, during the first ten days or so of the newborn’s life create an environment
as similar as possible to their life in the womb: warmth, dim light, quiet sounds. Ask visitors to be peaceful,
to interact gently with the baby, and, of course, to be healthy.

You may find it beneficial to learn the gentle art of massaging a baby, giving strength and tone to their
muscles.

You might like to investigate underwater birth since the newborn has just come from a liquid environment.

When you interact with your baby, you can prepare them by first saying mentally or verbally what you
have in mind, then pick them up. Even if this is not essential for a newborn, it is a good idea to get into
the habit. Later it is essential, because each of us, whatever our age, has our own agenda: whether we’re
practicing crawling, carrying heavy objects, reading, playing baseball, doing scientific investigations, or
just being. When you need to interrupt another’s agenda it is a good practice to warn them beforehand,
leaving enough time to negotiate if necessary.

When your baby is crying and you haven’t been able to soothe them after trying everything you can think
of—feeding them, checking the diaper, checking their body for rashes or bites, checking the clothes for
stickers, smoothing the bed sheets, changing their position, rocking them, carrying them, going outside,
singing to them—it is helpful to have your self-esteem firmly in place. If possible, remaining centered can
help you be calm, not frustrated, and not frightened, and so able to choose a wise course of action.

You might want to investigate current information about the meaning of baby cries. Many people have
reported this information to be of help to them and their babies.

When you know that you will need to nurse the baby in public, you can bring along a shawl or some piece
of cloth which you can drape over the nursing baby so others will feel at ease. If necessary you might find
a restroom with a couch or comfortable chair where you can be less public. Realize that some people
might be offended no matter what.

A baby needs as much holding as they need, day or night. There are many baby holders which allow you
to work while holding your baby against your body. If the baby is happier, more peaceful sleeping with
you, you can sleep with them. Close to their mother, or some other loving and devoted human being, is a
natural place for a baby.
Karen Ryce Presents...
Good Parent Good Kids
by Karen Ryce
ebook