The Christmas and holiday period can be very busy and overwhelming for little ones. This is especially true if you travel or have lots of visitors or guests staying. It's often best to be upfront with family and friends about your expectations on how you would like your baby to be handled and cared for. Here are a few things we'd like to say...
Dear Family, We love spending time with you. It's been a while since we have seen you so we would like to give you some guidance on holding, playing with and caring for our baby. We treat our baby with love, care, and respect at all times and we are mindful not to overstimulate or overwhelm him.
- overcrowd the baby. Give the baby personal space, he is a person too!
- pick the baby up all of the time, some babies are happy to play or work by themselves, often for long periods of time.
- interrupt the baby while they are actively playing or working. They are working hard so please don't break their concentration.
- feed the baby anything or allow them to suck on or lick foods without checking with us first.
- pick the baby up from behind or surprise them. Can you please tell the baby (or ask them) before you pick them up.
- constantly shake, pat, or rock the baby. This is extra stimulus that they do not need.
- kiss the baby near the mouth or allow the baby to suck on your fingers. Please keep in mind potential illnesses and infections. If you have a cold sore please refrain from kissing the baby.
- allow the baby to mouth your glass (cup/tumbler). He is teething and will find it soothing but we have clean teethers for this purpose.
- put the baby in front of a screen. We haven't introduced screens yet and find it unnecessary and potentially harmful.
- use excessive baby talk, the baby likes to hear your adult voice too!
- call the baby smelly, yucky, gross or bad, even if their nappy needs changing. He is absorbing your language yet cannot understand the negative reactions to natural bodily functions.
- tickle the baby, he is not old enough to give consent and cannot ask you to stop.
- pass the baby around like pass the parcel. If you are going to hold the baby, please give them time to settle.
- ignore or take your eyes off the baby if you are supervising them. Babies need 100% of your attention when you are supervising them, they can move quickly, put things in their mouth or crawl off, there are more dangers in an environment they are unfamiliar with or in an area that hasn't been baby proofed.
- enjoy spending time with the baby.
- talk, sing or read to the baby.
- feed the baby with our permission.
- get on the baby's level to play with them.
- hold the baby gently and with care.
- respect our parenting decisions.
Sincerely, Loving Parents. xx