Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beyond Feeding and Holding

~Beyond Feeding and Holding~
By: Kori Bower

Most parents know that a baby’s basic needs are food, sleep, and love.  Doctors direct us on the best diet for the baby and a quite, peaceful baby easily identifies sleep with eyes closed.  But how do you really show a baby love?  Experts know that reasonably recognizing and fulfilling your child’s need for food and sleep is an expression of love that is imperative to a sensitive period in the development of your infant’s brain, physical growth, and emotional and social development.  Meeting these needs forge a secure attachment between the primary caregiver and child.  Other loving interactions can include holding your baby in front of you to explore your face.  Studies show that newborns can learn the facial pattern of their mother’s face and distinguish hers from an unfamiliar person by visual sensitivity to the broader outlines of faces.  Read a short board book to your newborn child at bedtime.  This fosters secure attachment, operant-conditioning gives the child cues to prompt that it is bed time, and it strengthens their language skills, revealed in studies that recorded ERP brain-waves capturing infants’ ability to recognize meaningful sound variations around 5 mo. old.   These are just a few ways to lovingly interact with your infant beyond holding and feeding.  


  1. I wonder if that explains why babies always want to touch your face when you're holding them. When you mentioned that a baby can learn their mother's face, it reminds me of someone telling me how the baby's vision improves as they get older. It makes sense to me, that their vision isn't great when they are newborns, and the way they distinguish a stranger's face from their mother's is by the outline of their face. I really thoght your blog was very informative as well as entertaining. Zara Foley

  2. That is very interesting advice. I believe that it is important for people to give more attention to their infants than just making sure their basic needs are met. Some people don't realize that even when they are that little they are able to learn and that it's important to help them in any way we can.
    -Jordan Howe

  3. There are so many ways to interact and show love to an infant and toddler. Feeding and holding are important basic needs for a child but interaction is also important. They need to be able to see how we respond to them and for them to learn how to respond to us. Just spending a lot of time with infants and toddlers shows them how much we care and love them. Love is not any one thing we do for them, it is a combination of things.
    Susan Davis