When a baby is born the whole world trembles. That Mother, Father, Family Will never be the same. An old soul has entered a new body, and they will input their surroundings with ripples and waves. The need for the Mother and Father to rest at this threshold of beginningness is paramount.
The newborn honeymoon is sweet because they sleep so much and feed so much. The needs are simple and straightforward. Older children and toddlers have time to adjust and be a part of things if possible this time is perfect for bonding and cuddling.
Mother needs long baths, lots of epsom salts, soothing essential oils, good food and liquids and naps. Sleep whenever you can, and never feel lazy. Rest is the best. Lounge in your comfortable nursing nooks and take lots of time. As much time as you need. When my babies were brand new I used to wear them in a hammock sling on my body while I tidied up or cooked food. My Jamaican aunties that live in my sub-conscious mind would insist that “too much hand will spoil the baby” but I shooshed them and went about my baby wearing ways. Now and then my arm would hurt and I might need to rest my back, or switch shoulders, but truthfully, you grow muscles carrying your children. Good muscles!
I carried all my babies in fabric until they were two and we would set our from home in the sling and then they would jump out and walk around when we arrived at the park.
When my son Iyabo was born he was a little under 5 lbs and very tiny at full term. He did not leave my side. In fact, I felt the wisdom of my ancient African ancestors guiding me to wear that little baby skin to skin. My bare chest against his bare body. Her nursed and snuggled close those first 24 hours and that kept his blood sugar up, he became warm and plump and pinky through heart beat, milk, touch and love. He did not have to spend any more time in the hospital being tested and monitored.
I grew him skin to skin. He lived on my body, under my shawl for the entirety of the dark winter months. And his big sister would crawl under the shawl and nurse in tandem with her brother, the two of them holding hands. Now I must report that ‘Yabby’ as we fondly call him, walked at 9 months, and he’s never stopped moving since. He is strong, fit, active, creative and intelligent. He is also the most sensitive to processed foods, so he keeps our whole family in check in terms of what is truly good and digestible and what will give you a runny nose.
I think the closer you allow the children to be in the early years (1-4 years) the more wholesome and independent and also affectionate they become. None of this was planned mind you. It was easier. Easier to nurse “on cue”, easier to sleep in the same bed, easier to carry them or pick them up when they cried.
My youngest is a BIG HEARTED late bloomer in some respects. He is big and burly as a five year old but nurses often (to the dismay of others) and he just mastered potty training at 3 1/2 . I still pick him up and might even tie him to my hip with a scarf when push comes to shove…but, I am hoping that all of this “clingy” behaviour will leave us with a boisterous and courageous boy. My other 2 children have proven this theory beautifully. They only came to me when they are hungry. Real do-it-yourselfers. So hang in there – keep them close when they are young – it is a sacrifice and blessing for the long haul.