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Parenting a Newborn Baby

Parenting a Newborn Baby

A newborn in the family can be exciting, enjoyable, tiring and daunting all at the same time. Being a parent to a newborn makes parents wonder about how to take care of this tiny bundle in the best possible way.

Significance of Contact and Early Relationship

The first few months are mostly about nurturing and taking care of the baby. Apart from being fed and cleaned, babies need to be touched, talked to and held. This contact and body sensations are as important as being fed. It stimulates the babies’ body and it constitutes the baby’s first experience of being aware of its body and existence. This stage forms the foundation for loving and safe contact , and emotional bonding with others.

Psychologists have often stressed the importance of early family interactions, primarily the mother-infant relationship, in personality development. The relationship the infant shares with the significant caretaker significantly influences interpersonal relationships later in life.

The Good enough Mother/Parent

In this context, it’s important to talk about the new mother. Well-known Psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott said that “The way to be a good mother is to be a good enough mother.”

Taking care of a baby takes a lot of physical and mental energy. This concept of “good enough mother” takes pressure off new mothers, who sometimes aim at “perfect parenting” which can be unrealistic and exhausting.

The good enough mother attends to the baby, provides a secure environment along with physical and emotional care. At the same time, she can feel strained and stretched, and needs space for self-care.

Real Parenting Vs Perfect Parenting

It’s only natural for a parent to make mistakes and learn from trial and error. Imperfect parenting is real and prepares the baby for what is to come. Life is anything but perfect, and children need to learn to deal with disappointments and frustrations.

Parents need to recognize that it’s perfectly fine to disengage with the baby for short periods, taking support from other adults to take care of themselves and recharge. This allows the parent to be calm and emotionally stable, which in turn is beneficial for the child.

It’s healthy for both the child and the parent when the caretaking of the child is balanced with self-care of the parent and allows for imperfections. This allows for parenting which is realistic for both the parent and child.

Avatar About the Author

Sapna Sajan

A psychotherapist practicing Transactional Analysis(TA) as her primary modality.

She is also trained in NLP, Gestalt and Psychodrama and integrates all these modalities in her work. She holds a post graduate degree in Management specializing in Human Resources. She practices individual therapy and group therapy.

She is passionate about working with parents and a lot of her work as a psychotherapist focuses on the relationship between parents and children. She also works with parents of children with special needs and with adults on the autism spectrum. Traveling and spending time with nature are some of the things she enjoys.

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