Part One – Live Like The Zoo – Baby’s Habitat

BRINGING THE BEST OF THE ZOO TO EARTH – PART ONE

*** I recommend reading Alien Zoo vs Earth A Comparison Guide first, if you haven’t had a chance to read it already!

LIVE LIKE THE ZOO – BABY’S HABITAT

  1. Skin to skin/babywearing – as much as possible
  2. Environment – keep it mellow at first
  3. Sleeping

SKIN TO SKIN/BABYWEARING

  • Take baby out of the bassinet and into your arms! Skin to skin is a great way to spend the first few days, but you don’t have to stop wearing baby when  you put on his clothes!
  • My favorite baby carrier for both skin to skin and everyday baby wearing is the mobywrap
  • On a side note – car seats are for transporting baby safely in a motor vehicle. Arms are for carrying baby everywhere else!

Skin to skin

  • Helps baby tap into his feeding reflexes and helps him latch to the breast
  • Reduces baby’s levels of stress hormones
  • Stabilizes baby’s heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature and glucose levels
  • Helps him use less of his body storage for food
  • The list of benefits is endless – Kangaroo Care

Babywearing

  • The habitat where human babies have best thrived for thousands of years
  • Keeps baby safe from danger
  • Provides mental stimulation
  • Reduces crying – the less a baby cries, the better his brain grows
  • Increases contact and touch with parents – contact and touch contribute to brain growth
  • And more – Babywearing

***

SKIN TO SKIN

Skin to skin – baby’s naked torso to the bare skin of a parent’s torso.

Look how Tigger does it! (Scroll over piccies to see the captions!)

Above – Tigger and Baby Tigger skin to skin!

***

NOT SKIN TO SKIN

Skin to skin is not skin to cloth or skin to air!

Above – Tigger and Baby Tigger not skin to skin!

***

ENVIRONMENT IN EARLY DAYS

  • This should be a quiet time for mom, dad and baby to explore and get to know each other
  • Visitors are great – but they often detract from mom and dad and baby getting enough rest. They also contribute to overstimulation
  • Overstimulation will cause a baby to shut down – retreat into himself – he will look like he’s asleep, and he won’t wake to feed, but he is really just trying to shut out all the lights, smells and noises
  • Baby’s sense of smell helps him latch, strong perfumes can overwhelm his sense of smell and make it harder for him to latch

Zookeeper tips:

  • Snuggle up with baby and spend a few, quiet, restful days getting to know him
  • Minimize visitors, bright lights, loud noises and strong smells

***

SLEEPING

  • Babies sleep and eat better when they are close to mom
  • Keep baby next to mom at night, he will nurse frequently, but mom and baby will both sleep better being close together. During the day, mom can sleep when baby sleeps
  • James McKenna’s The Natural Child Project is a great resource for information on cosleeping
  • Remember, one day, baby will sleep alone, grow up and leave home. There is no rush!

Next: Bringing The Best Of The Zoo To Earth Part Two – Feed Like The Zoo – Breastfeeding Basics