Transition to a new world
Being born must be a shocking experience for the baby. Parents can help baby transition by providing warmth and closeness.
A strange new world
For a baby, being born must be like moving to a new country – suddenly everything around them changes. Baby will experience many firsts as they enter a world of bright lights and different noises, smells, tastes and sensations.
Ask the whānau:
- Can you remember some of the firsts you experienced? Maybe:
- leaving home
- the first day of your first job
- starting at a new school
- moving a new country or community?
- What ‘sensory’ memories of those experiences do you have – such as smells, sights and sounds?
- What helped you to transition to those new places, spaces or experiences?
Think about what it’s like being a baby before birth, inside their mother – what sensory experiences might baby be having? (for example, wet, warm, snug, dark, safe and secure)
Now, what about after their birth – what might their senses be experiencing? (for example, bright lights, cold air, being touched and held, breathing air)
Helping baby to transition
- What can you do to help your baby transition into the ‘world of light’?
Fill in any gaps from the ideas below:
- Let baby see your face.
- Rock, walk or take baby for a ride in the pram or car.
- Sooth baby – use one action at a time and repeat it over and over.
- Get close and sing or hum to baby.
- Talk to baby in a steady, soft voice.
- Pick baby up and hold them close.
- Wrap baby snugly.
- ‘Windy’ babies may be more comfortable in an upright position.
Helpful resources for whānau
Getting to know their babies as soon as they are born<Getting to know their babies as soon as they are born
Watch parents and their babies getting to know each other in the very early days.