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Turning Newborn Snuggles Into Mindfulness

The benefits of mindful meditation has been all the rage in the past several years. There are endless studies and personal testimony of mental and physical improvements with the implementation of a mindfulness practice. As a parent of an infant, it can be difficult to feel like you have any time to yourself, let alone even entertain the idea of beginning or continuing a mindfulness practice.

I am here today to introduce you to a way that you can incorporate a mindfulness practice into your daily life, while you are caring for your baby in ways that you already do.

What is mindfulness:

Mindfulness can be an invaluable skill for the well-being of a new family. I am not going to get too far into the details and benefits of mindfulness, but here are just a few known benefits:

  • Reduces stress and lowers future stress responses

  • Decreases anxiety and emotional reactivity

  • Increases positive emotions

  • Decreases blood pressure, leading to reduction in heart disease

  • Reduces chronic pain

  • Improves sleep

  • Increased ability to form deep connections & increased relationship satisfaction

  • Boost working memory and ability to focus

How mindfulness can benefit a family with a newborn:

With just the short list above, I feel like it is pretty obvious how mindfulness can benefit the entire family. This period of time with a newborn can be full of bliss, but it also creates stress on the body, mind and relationships. Life inevitably and fundamentally changes with a newborn, there are many new roles and responsibilities, altered relationship dynamics, changed sleep habits, and in many cases a member of the household who is recovering from physical and mental toll of pregnancy and birth. You can ease the transition of every one of those things by implementing this mindfulness practice. The last very important detail is that this specific technique will promote intimate bonding between you and your new little one.

Some days you may feel like you spend all day holding, soothing and fighting for naps. Often we are frustrated during those periods because we are tired, of course, but also because we are wired to always be thinking ahead and in those moments we feel trapped. We get overwhelming feelings that we are missing out on time that we “should” be spending doing other things, like cleaning or cooking or any number of tasks, but instead we’ve spent hours of our day nap trapped or holding and soothing our babies.

This stage of life is so short and fleeting. I promise you that in 5, 10, 20 years you won’t have all of these opportunities for stillness and closeness with your child that you have right now. There will be a last opportunity for of all of these moments and you won’t always see it coming. Every nap. Every nursing session or bottle. Every rock to sleep is one closer to the last one.

Don’t miss the chance now to absorb every second.

This time, which in the moment feels like the biggest hurdle, can be reframed to feel like your best asset. You can take just one feeding or nap or snuggle a day and turn it into your mindfulness practice. Put the phone down and be present in the moment with your baby. Try not to think about everything on your to-do list or what you have to do as soon as you can put baby down, just BE there.

Here is how to practice mindfulness with your baby:

Your mind will try to wander to your task lists and thoughts, but just keep coming back to your baby, using all of your senses.

  • Put down the phone

  • Feel the weight and shape of your baby on your body

  • Hold them, don’t just let them rest on you, really hold them close with the entire surface of your hands, fingers, forearms

  • Feel how their body rests against yours and where yours gives way to make a comfortable space for them

  • Feel their squishy soft cheeks against your lips and face

  • Listen to the sound of their breathing and dreams

  • Find where those little hands are laying or holding onto you

  • Smell their sweet baby breath, face and hair

  • Feel their fuzzy head on your cheeks and lips

  • Study that sweet face like you are trying to take a picture in your mind

  • Mentally trace the outline of their body against yours

  • Take long, deep breaths

As tired, overwhelmed and frustrated as you can feel sometimes, it is hard to remember that your baby is not trying to manipulate you; you are their comfort and safety. The more you practice this mindfulness outside of times of stress, the quicker and easier it becomes to come back to a place of awareness and appreciation for these moments of holding your baby.


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