Tips for Making your Baby Feel Secure

To grow into well-adjusted toddlers, babies need security and parents have a responsibility to provide it. However, parents of newborns are often overwhelmed, exhausted, and confused. How can mom or dad help baby feel secure when they don’t? Luckily, it is much easier to provide security for our babies than for ourselves. Babies don’t need money, good jobs, or the right wardrobe to feel secure. They simply need loving parents.

PHYSICAL CONTACT
Be sure to touch, hug, kiss, and cuddle your baby often. The warmth of your skin and the sound of your heart provide familiarity and comfort to the newest of newborns. Older babies thrive when they know they can find comfort in the arms of mom or dad.

EYE CONTACT
Be sure to make eye contact with your baby. This is one of the ways your baby learns to communicate with you. Sometimes simply gazing into her eyes is enough to calm her. You may be surprised at how calm this makes you as well!

SMILE
While you are making eye contact with your baby, be sure to smile often at her. Before long they will be smiling right back at you!

SWADDLING
Very young babies enjoy the comfort of swaddling. They have spent the previous nine months in a warm, confined space, and suddenly they are in a big, cold world. Swaddling can help them feel warm and secure and prevents them from startling themselves awake.

CAN SHE SELF-SOOTHE?
Newborns do not have the ability to self-soothe. There are differing opinions on when this ability develops, but most experts believe it develops sometime during months three and five. Before this point newborns need their caregiver to help them calm down and feel secure. There have been some studies that show newborns not forced to “cry it out” develop into healthier sleepers as older babies because they feel secure. They know that mom or dad is going to be there to keep them safe.

TALK SOOTHINGLY
It is important to use a soothing tone with your baby to help calm them and make them feel safe and secure. They learn quickly to distinguish between happiness and anger. This not only helps build security, but as they grow older if you have used a soothing, calm voice with them, they will quickly learn that when your tone changes you mean business. This is important when they are pulling the dog’s tail or pouring their Cheerios on the floor!

STAY CLOSE
At home, your older baby is probably perfectly content playing alone in her crib for a few minutes or across the room while you are cooking dinner. However, when you are in a new place, such as at a play date or Grandma’s house, she might need you to stay close. When it becomes apparent that she is becoming more comfortable in her new surroundings, you can give her a little more space.

SECURITY BLANKET
Some older babies like the security of a favorite toy or blanket. This can help them feel secure when you are not around, such as at daycare or in the middle of the night.

Providing security to your baby is at times exhausting but the reward is great. Secure babies grow into secure toddlers. And, of course, secure toddlers grow into secure kids. Somewhere along the way, this sense of security will turn into a sense of self-confidence that will stay with them for the remainder of their lives. As parents, our goal is to help our children become confident, self-sufficient adults. Providing them with security is a powerful tool, and one they will carry with them always.