The same goes for our first children. Every parent out there was a new parent at one point and can remember wading through information, methods and toys that are supposed to make our new humans more intelligent, peaceful, independent or social. I think many of us can say our gut often tells us to do one thing, but the fear of messing up our kids, or having not made the right choices early on, lead us to do another.
It's worthwhile to take a second and remind ourselves that ultimately we are equipped as mammals to provide everything our babies need to survive and thrive through infancy, just like every other mammal on the planet. Our little ones need food. They need to hear your voice and be kept close to be able to smell you. They need periods of true intention when your face is close and you are able to interact and mimic. They also need periods when they can either observe their surroundings or disengage when over-stimulated, yet still have the ability to see you in order to maintain their sense of security. They need your respect. The first two years is exceptionally hard work. They need us to consider their right to be stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted just like us. Then, they need our help to find calm in order to recoup, because they cannot remove themselves from a tough situations or express the details of their feelings, other than crying. Lastly, but just as important, they need to be touched and held; skin-to-skin when ever possible. We, as parents, have the innate ability to provide many of the needs listed above through calm, attentive, and regular touch.
> One of my most precious resources in studying touch and infant massage is The Vital Touch by Sharon Heller, PhD. It is a valuable, layman style read should you wish to know more about the power of your touch.