The week between Christmas and New Year’s, to me, is a turn-around time. Some things have finished and some haven’t yet started. It’s like a capillary bed, or “isoring”—the place in our blood vessels where arteries become veins, where our blood turns back to the heart. I experience it as a pause and an allowing of flow and shift, a time to let go and ride.
This isoring space embodied—or, the last week in December—is a lovely time to “be” with yourself and your baby. If you celebrate the December holidays, the month may have been a time of heightened stimulation for Baby, whether or not it was for you. Here are some ideas about recuperating together.
Have a cuddle
This may seem obvious or cliché, but lying together on the floor, couch, or bed offers more than a cozy cuddle. Baby is ultra-connected to the vibe of her caregivers, especially Mama. The cells of our bodies resonate with each other, just as the strings on stringed instruments do. Babies “resonate” with their caregivers—it matters not just what we do, but how we do (be). If you need permission to do nothing: it’s worth granting yourself! Nothing is never really just nothing.
Join Baby on the floor
Rather than use propping devices, hang out together at whatever level Baby is naturally. This typically keeps Baby at a level that doesn’t ask more of her than she is able to do herself. It also allows her to choose between rest and activity; “recuperation,” really, is about this flow back and forth. Play together on your tummies or go on a crawling tour of the house! When you can spend some time there with her, it lets her know that you’re “with” her, that it’s okay to be where she is.
Nope, not a new sport! Rather, curl Baby into a ball, with arms and legs tucked in and head in too (meaning, not extended or arching back). “Baby Ball” is good for all ages of baby/toddler/child. This bending-in, or flexion, heightens the body’s ability to balance and feel ‘centered’ (that is, if you like anatomy, strengthens the Parasympathetic Nervous System, as opposed to the Sympathetic sensory-motor). You can use Baby Ball during feeding, resting/sleeping, or holding.
Babies are self-healers
If all of Baby’s needs have been met and he’s not sick or injured—and he’s still fussy or crying—trust his instincts. One way that babies release stress, both emotionally and chemically (via tears), is crying. He may be working something through his system—better out than in! After an in-arms cry, babies will typically either sleep very well or stay awake in a very peaceful and non-‘needy’ state.
Set up cozy feeding places
Whether breast- or bottle-feeding, setting up a cozy space supports caregivers’ comfort and makes transitions easier. If you breastfeed, having your partner be the setter-upper is a great way for him/her to be involved. Create places on the floor, especially, throughout your home: include pillows, blankets, non-perishable healthy snacks for yourself, and water. Feeding while sitting on the floor or lying on your back or side may allow both of you to relax. And if you and/or Baby fall asleep–easy, you’re already on the floor!
During this isoring-week of December and beyond, I sincerely wish you heavenly, much-needed recuperating and isoring enjoyment!
© Eliza Parker 2011 & 2014, All Rights Reserved (Links are welcome)
Much of my work comes from Infant Developmental Movement Education®, part of the Body-Mind Centering® Approach to Somatic Education, and Dr. Aletha Solter’s Aware Parenting. I am a certified Infant Developmental Movement Educator®, Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner, Feldenkrais® Practitioner, and Spiritual Counselor.