A strange thing happens when you welcome a new baby into the world. There is about a two-minute window when feelings of relief, achievement and joy overwhelm you and then, about another 30 seconds after that, this vague sense of worry sets in “Am I doing it right?” “Am I doing it wrong?” “Is it enough?” “Am I enough?”. And that feeling never really leaves.

Babies are born ready to bond with their parents. It’s we adults who may have a little trouble with that. For some of us it’s immediate and for others it may take a little longer. The best news is that all the time we’re spending caring for our precious one is irreplaceable and we’re building up a store of knowledge about our child that no one else will ever be able to replicate.

As you spend time with your baby, you’re creating an “invisible string” from your heart to theirs. You’re forming common memories. You’re getting to know your child and you’re getting to know yourself as a parent. Some days will be great and, particularly in the early days, some of them will be less than stellar. But each one adds to your ever-growing bank of parenting skills and knowledge about the extra little being you now have.

Strong ties with parents provide a child’s first model for intimate relationships and foster a sense of security and positive self-esteem. It’s all a process though. Bonding can be a by-product of care giving. You may not realise it’s happening until that first direct, unblinking gaze or smile occurs and then you’re hooked. Your heart bursts with love (and their body usually bursts with something else!).

When you show love and make your baby feel secure, you’re growing their brain as well as helping them become socially well-adjusted. The human baby is the most socially influenced creature on Earth. Spending time with your child is the most important thing you will ever do for them.

Children with affectionate and attentive parents have been shown to have a larger hippocampus (that’s the fancy word for the part of the brain that controls memory and learning skills as well as responses to stress). How amazing is that?! Just by spending time with your child and including them in your activities, conversations and observations, you’re setting them up as someone who is more resilient and curious and will have an enthusiasm for learning and discovering the wonderful world around them.

Sounds simple huh?! But that doesn’t mean that niggling sense of worry goes away. “Am I doing it right” That’s where we hope that we can help! While we can’t give away too much just yet – we hope that Take My Hand’s new project is going to help tip the balance towards confidence and calmness. We’re aiming to be provide you with a bit of a roadmap to your child’s development. We hope that if we can focus on stuff like their hippocampus, you can focus on the more important stuff….like sourcing caffeine! Can’t wait to share what’s coming next!

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Take My Hand