“Sarah visited my daughter and I when C was about seven weeks old. She showed me how to read subtle cues from C that were really helpful, such as when she wanted me to engage with her and when she really wasn’t interested in something and not to force it! It made me feel more confident with C and that she really was able to communicate with me in her own small ways.” (Julia, Edinburgh)
Baby Kind newborn observation sessions help you tune in to what your baby is communicating, and develop your confidence in the bond between you. It is NOT an assessment of how ‘well’ your baby is doing!
Baby Kind involves looking at your baby’s reflexes, social interaction, and soothing behaviours. During the session you learn more about your baby’s preferences for sleeping, feeding and interacting with the world around them. For example, you will learn whether your baby finds it easy or hard to ignore sound and light when they are sleeping. Babies need to be able to get into deep sleep in order to promote the growth hormone, so obviously its very important that babies can protect their sleep in order to grow. Knowing more about your baby’s preferences means that you will be better able to respond and support them in their own unique needs.
A Baby Kind session helps parents feel more confident in reading their baby’s signals and cues. All babies need to be able to let their parents know when they are hungry, and it can be really useful to have a clearer sense of what exactly your baby does (before they get to a full on cry, which as we know makes it much harder to feed). Other cues that your baby might be giving you are when they are interested, over stimulated, have had enough, are stressed, are trying to connect with the word around them. Babies cues can be easy to miss, and slowing down and taking time to observe your baby can give you more ideas about how your baby is communicating.
A picture speaks a thousand words, and if you would like to see a Baby Kind session in action, I was fortunate enough to be able to record myself doing one with midwife Gem Nealon and her 6 week old baby - you can see it here.
Parents often talk about how much they have enjoyed doing Baby Kind and how much more confidence it gives them (even if it just reassures them that their own hunches about how their baby communicates were correct!). We record what we have learnt about your baby, so you can refer to this later or with other practitioners.
Being more in tune with your baby helps develop a more secure attachment relationship between you. Numerous studies have shown that this secure attachment leads to more positive outcomes in later life, not just emotionally but also in terms of physical and cognitive development. By taking time to tune in to your baby, you are giving them the best possible start in life.
Parents have commented that it helped them realise the unique ways that their baby communicates and that the session gives them confidence that they are giving their baby exactly the support he or she needs.
"Sarah clearly loves what she does and interacted with E in a gentle and caring way throughout. It was interesting to hear how E’s responses to various stimuli compared with that of other babies and what this might mean in terms of us responding to her needs effectively. The session gave us lots of food for thought and reassurance at a time when we very much needed it.” (Becky, Edinburgh)
Babies need to be aged anywhere from -3 weeks to +12 weeks after their due date. Each session lasts around an hour and a half, and costs £85. It is preferable that both parents are present, as most Dads find it pretty interesting too. Sessions can be arranged in your own home, or at my practice in Portobello. If there is a group of you, I can arrange a workshop, and the hostess will get a free newborn observation as part of that.
Baby Kind sessions are based on the highly respected Newborn Behavioural Observation system (NBO), developed by psychologist J.K. Nugent and colleagues in 2007.
Birth and Beyond Baby Kind sessions were also mentioned recently in i-on Magazine. If you would like more information about the NBO, there is a useful book available, and the Brazelton Centre provides plenty of information.