WHAM! New sensations
For a whole 9 or 10 months, the baby grows in a warm, cocooned dark place- that has a constant supply of food, a consistent temperature and isn’t noisy. Each movement they make is met with a firm safe boundary that cocoons them. They’ve perfectly adapted to this steady environment. And then WHAM- they’re born. Suddenly they experience being hungry for the first time, they experience being hot and cold, noises are so much louder, and the light is ever changing...and now someone is moving them all around trying to jam their little arms and hands into these things called clothes. The sensory based experiences are completely new and alien to what they know.
Losing that comfy and safe place they called home for many months, shows how helpless and vulnerable newborns are. This is why the need to be held in their parent’s arms as well as in their minds and to be wrapped firmly is crucial.
The key here is what we like to call “good enough reliability”- where parents provide enough reliable responses to meeting their baby’s needs. By doing this, the baby develops a sense of trust in the world and in their parents, knowing that their needs will usually be taken care of. Remember “good enough” is good enough. On the flip side- it’s actually not helpful to meet your baby’s needs all the time. Phew!