Babies: Like You and Me

A radio interviewer asked me recently as a baby doctor, how it was possible to know what sick babies needed? For those of us that work in the world of babies, who each day see them emerging wet, pink and screaming, from their mother’s womb, it is easy to forget that, for the ...

Attunement to Your Baby

Human babies are born very immature. They have very little ‘working memory’ and the thinking, planning, evaluating part of their brain is not yet connected up. It will be months before they can learn about altering their patterns of living, like sleeping longer and ...

Don’t Look Back!

What would you say to people who regret some decisions they made with babies in years gone past? There is so much emphasis in getting these early years of parenting right. Is the ‘1000 days ‘ theory of any merit? We all learn so much through this parenting game, it’s easy to find oneself looking backwards and saying ‘ I wish I could have my time again.'”

A  As they say “It is, what it is”. We all wish we could re-run our children’s early years to be more in line with modern thought. For instance, My wife and I definitely should have bed-shared more with our daughters. I remember one of them, during a wakeful night at age 7, declaring to me: “It’s all right for you. You’ve got mummy to sleep with!”

There is no doubt that the brain development that occurs in the early years, (say a 1000 days if you like) lays down our sense of security, the inner beliefs about our self, and our relationship with the world.

But there a few mitigating factors that need to be considered before we beat ourselves up about our shortcomings too much.

First,

  • the so called ‘plasticity’ of brain development. Somebody once said that the development of a child was like a ball running down valley. Very self correcting. It takes a tremendous force to send the ball over the hill into the adjacent valley of abnormal development.

Second,

  • the context of the family. In a generally loving family a