Mother-Baby Dance

April 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

mom-and-baby-conversation2Since the late 1970’s, researchers have been studying the importance of the earliest non-verbal mother-infant communications that involve eye gazing, smiling, facial and movement dialogues. Daniel Stern was the first to call these interactions “mother-infant dance.”   Many studies have revealed that the quality of these dances can improve the infant’s secure attachment, and brain and social development.  I wrote my doctoral dissertation about this subject.  Mothers and babies who are in tune with each other have in-sync interactions and rhythms and more often gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes.  Depressed mothers and their babies do not.  These babies can become stressed and show fewer positive emotions because they don’t receive adequate regulation of their nervous systems with good mirroring of their cues.  Therapy can often help depressed mothers and their babies repair their communication styles.

 It is important to look at your baby often, smile, and imitate his facial and sound expressions.  The idea is to slow down, rock your baby, move rhythmically and communicate in loving ways.  This builds your baby’s mind and sense of self.  Mother-baby dance is pleasurable.  Once you get in the habit, it becomes very natural.

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