Relationship Do you want an independent and secure baby? Take him...

Do you want an independent and secure baby? Take him in your arms


Contrary to what they say, holding the newborn in your arms does not make him dependent. On the contrary, cuddling, caressing and sleeping with him will make him more independent.

Your newborn child hopes to continue to feel as safe, as warm and as well-nourished as he was in your womb; and expect to find yourself in an environment just like the one you began to know inside.

He hopes to be in contact with someone who gives him warmth, who feeds him without separating from him, and who protects him. Someone who smells like your amniotic fluid smelled, whose milk tastes similar to amniotic fluid, someone who speaks with the voice he heard inside.

Someone with whom you will be in your waking moments and in the hours in which you remain asleep, because only then will you feel safe. And feeling safe is for him to feel good, very good.

So, when you breastfeed him, when you take him in your arms, when you talk to him, he will try to look you in the eyes with that deep and attentive look that will make you fall in love without being able to avoid it.

And from there, being with you, he will experience new sensations: hunger, cold, wanting to poop or pee, hiccups, sneezes, other voices, other noises, other faces, other smells. And if something creates stress for him, he will recover quickly because he will be with you. You will feel happy again.


And it is that your newborn child has sensations and emotions: he is a person.

  • He is capable of feeling well-being and despair, hot and cold, hunger and satiety, of feeling unprotected or completely safe and loved.
  • He lives and feels only the present. He does not remember the past nor can he think about the future.
  • He does not have rational thoughts but he does have emotional memory. What you feel, what you experience from day to day is stored in an area of ​​your emotional brain: the hippocampus.
  • When you sleep, in the superficial sleep phase, you dream. If you watch him while he, does it, you will see him smile or make small faces.
  • However, the newborn is not able to calm his anxiety or stress on his own. He still does not know how to regulate himself. He needs you to do it.
  • Because your child either feels good or feels bad, there is no middle ground.

It is, therefore, that it is good because you may otherwise suffer. And the best way to achieve this, without a doubt, is to practice skin-to-skin.

On your body it can satisfy all its basic needs: heat, food and protection. That contributes to their physical and emotional development.

That is why it is not surprising that many newborns calm down and fall asleep soundly when we place them on their mother’s naked body. In his father’s arms he also feels protected.


A very important part of the newborn’s communication with its parents occurs through touch.

The baby has about 50 touch receptors per square centimeter of his skin, about five million in all skin. Among them are receptors for pressure, pain, vibration and temperature changes. It is in the hands and around the mouth where they are most concentrated.

When you take him in your arms, he will feel that pleasant, firm but affectionate pressure, the warmth of his mother, in short, your love through the skin. If you are nervous and worried, their pressure receptors will pick up on your tension. If, on the other hand, you are relaxed, so will your muscles, which will reassure you.

The father tends to take the child in his arms more vigorously than the mother, and tends to shake him gently, obtaining an expression of excitement on his little face. Gentle stroking, such as slow patting, has a powerful calming effect on a fussy baby. Rapids stimulate him if he is calm.

In addition, stroking his back is not only a sweet gesture that will allow you to calm the baby, it will relax you too. This type of contact is so intense and powerful that it causes the mother’s brain to secrete oxytocin, a hormone that relaxes us and calms the baby, at the same time that it facilitates that perception of mutual infatuation.


If your child is happy, not only will he feel great now, but he will be more likely to be happy tomorrow.

If he has established a secure attachment relationship with you, he knows that you will respond to his needs, and he knows it because he has experienced it many times, so he will cry less and will become more autonomous and, over the years, more independent.

Children who have established a secure attachment relationship with their mothers have been shown to perform better on tests of emotional comprehension, verbal skills, and social skills.

The key is not that we feel we love them, but that our children also feel loved by us.


It’s been 24 years since I first heard about skin-to-skin contact when I was researching breastfeeding in premature babies. In fact, at first, we called it kangaroo care.

I was very surprised, because at that time, in most neonatal units in Spanish hospitals, premature babies remained without leaving the incubator for weeks and months, and no one was allowed to touch them. However, the kangaroo method had been practiced for years in Colombia, where he was born, in some hospitals in the United States and in the Nordic countries.

My colleagues and I managed to ensure that, in 1994, the first of our preemies enjoyed the babysitting with her mother. Little by little the method became general. Mothers and fathers saw others applying it with their children and immediately asked to do it themselves. The establishment of this protocol coincided with the feeding of the premature infant with breast milk.

And there are many benefits of skin-to-skin contact:


We were afraid that our first premature would get cold or not tolerate the process well, but her temperature rose to 37 degrees and remained stable all the time.


We also learned that they are capable, by their own means, of accessing the mother’s breast and suckling. Even after the immediate postpartum, those famous first two hours, if they were hungry, they would go to the breast and suck.


For her, practicing kangaroo represents getting closer to her child physically and emotionally, overcoming her fears, becoming familiar with him and learning to handle him – you only have to see their expressions and the faces of the kangaroo babies to realize it.

And I never tire of repeating that the mother’s body is the best place for the baby.

MindFixes Staff
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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