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Infant Biological Norms vs Western Society Expectations

Are you a new parent who recently experienced someone suggesting that you put your newborn baby down? Did a family member recently comment that you are going to "spoil the baby"? If so let's just stop and think for a minute!

What if we shifted our perspective and viewed this new mom/parents as it should be? This new parent is listening to their biological ingrained instincts to pick their newborn up and soothe them and reinforce they know they are capable of meeting all their needs!

A newborn is seeking a sense of security, and a feeling of attachment, and learns innate trust when their parents respond to their request for a "need to be met"

Let's look at other mammals and realize how they keep their babies attached to them during this infantile and even toddlerhood, yet our Western society encourages us to hurry up and sleep train them, hurry up and push solids, and expect new moms to hurry up and get back to work.

So the next time you are visiting a new mom/parents, I encourage you to commend their efforts of following their instincts and nurturing their new baby.

Here is a reminder of some of the biological norms :

  • Frequent Nursing: Babies are biologically designed to nurse often. It’s their way of getting the nutrients and comfort they need.

  • Close Contact: Babies thrive on skin-to-skin contact. It regulates their body temperature, heartbeat, and stress levels.

  • Night Waking: Waking up at night is normal for infants. It’s how they ensure they’re getting enough milk and staying safe.

Western Society Expectations:

  • Scheduled Feeding: There’s often pressure to put babies on strict feeding schedules, which can be stressful for both mom and baby.

  • Independent Sleep: Many parents feel pushed to have their babies sleep independently early on, even though many babies sleep better and feel more secure when close to their parents.

  • “Good Baby” Myth: Society often labels babies who sleep through the night or rarely cry as “good,” but every baby is unique and their needs vary.

Remember: It’s okay to embrace your baby’s natural rhythms. Trust your instincts and do what feels right for you and your family. Don’t let societal pressures overshadow the beautiful, natural journey you and your baby are on

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