This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.
This month’s carnival topics deals with a subject that is near and dear to me, the use of a nurturing touch. I mentioned a few months back now that my primary love language was physical touch. That is the most effective way for my husband to show that he loves me and finds me valuable and appreciates me. So I found that it made complete sense when that a nurturing touch helps meet a baby’s need for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation and movement.
While my son may still be a few months off from actually speaking real English words that he himself comprehends, I know how to read his signals for affection any time. He is a very affectionate little man and I would not be surprised if one day we discover his love language is physical touch also. I have witnessed several different actions in him that show his need to nurtured through physical contact.
I find that if I take off his shirt and allow out tummy’s to connect skin to skin while he is eating he actually eats longer, is less distracted and more content afterwards. Not all feedings allow for this type of bonding but when it does happen I know there is a difference.
I have never been a fan of leaving a baby to cry themselves to sleep and that is one thing I was very adamant about in my home. I know I never wanted to have a pattern or need to be rocked to sleep, but I would never allow him to just scream himself tired. So my answer was to hold him and lay with him on my stomach or chest as he relaxed and eventually the warms lulled him off to sleep.
Within the last month he finally mastered the ability to crawl. Which as opened up a whole new world of exploration for him. He however has an anxious need to want to walk already so he is insistent on pulling himself up into a standing position and eventually falling. I have come to understand that it isn’t so much the fall that has hurt or scared him into a short cry spell but the fact that he wasn’t able to do what he wanted to do. In that moment of defeat he looks to us as parents and providers for a hug of encouragement to say it is okay … you are doing well now keep trying.
Over the months as I watch him grow and develop I have learned that I should never look at my sons desire for physical attention as being needy or weak. Instead I realized that it is a very important step in his development towards being a loving, caring, nurturing and responsive man. His wife will thank me one day.