By Dr Bronwyn Leigh
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and writer
Slowing yourself down internally (your mind and physiology) and externally (your pace and behaviour) can help you observe and ‘be with’ your baby. Try to be aware of how you are feeling and how pacey or relaxed you are in your mind and behaviour. Taking a moment to slow down, clear your mind and make a space in your mind for your baby can really help. Making a space means you have capacity to think about her and what she is experiencing. You might take a moment to slow your breathing and let go of all the things floating around in your mind, let the thoughts go as much as possible so you can focus on your baby. When thoughts continue to intrude, tuck them away and gently bring your mind back to your baby.
Slowing down enhances the possibility of noticing the smallest of details when observing your baby. Babies tend to go slowly; they are taking in a lot and everything is new to them. Slowing ourselves down means we can operate, exist and experience, at least for a time, at their pace. The act of slowing down enough to attentively engage with your baby’s moment-to-moment experience serves an empathic function because your baby will feel that you have slowed down to her pace. This produces experiences of connection for both you and baby.
Finding ways to slow down and make a space for your baby can be difficult without support. At the Centre for Perinatal Psychology we can help you find moments of connections with your baby or toddler during this important life phase.
About the Author
Dr Bronwyn Leigh is a clinical psychologist, perinatal and infant clinician and early parenting consultant. She is the Director of the Centre for Perinatal Psychology. Bronwyn specialises in the psychological aspects of becoming a parent, the emotional development of infants, and parent-infant relationships.
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