(My blog has a name now: The Vintage Voice, and you're reading the brand new, hot-off- the-press, first installment under that title).
I love that image of the New Year as a baby: fresh and new, filled with possibility and promise, curiosity and courage to learn and try new things. It can be overwhelming to be a new parent looking into the wide-eyed wonder of your Baby, not knowing quite what to do, or to expect. To alleviate your concerns, here's a primer I've prepared to to help you faithfully carry out your duties.
Babies are innocent, helpless and reliant on us to care for them. They can’t be expected to fend for themselves, or to do things perfectly. There is a learning curve with each Baby New Year. Like all babies, it needs nurturing and guidance and baby proofing!
It’s important to keep your Baby New Year safe, so it can flourish. That means removing obstacles from its path and ensuring that it’s not exposed to a toxic environment. It means feeding your baby a healthy diet and ensuring it has plenty of space to exercise, play and grow. It means being gentle and patient and kind with your little one and ensuring that it has lots of positive influences around to reinforce good habits and manners and character. It means providing your baby with tools for learning. It also means allowing time for silliness and creativity giving it things to inspire imagination, not to mention quiet space for daydreaming and ample time to replenish and rest.
Sometimes your Baby New Year will keep you up at night. Other times your Baby will be fussy. You can’t calm an unhappy baby by yelling at it, or being anxious. The only way to calm it, is by being calm. Singing works wonders. So does dancing. Its important to know that baby can make messes, but the best thing to do is to tidy up right away, dry any tears and redirect your baby to start fresh again. There will be times when Baby can easily become overwhelmed by sensory overload. To avoid this, place limits on electronics and devices. To improve everyone’s demeanor, disconnect and take your Baby outside to get fresh air, get out pent-up energy and wiggle its toes in the earth or on the shore. Babies love playtime, especially when they’re allowed to explore. Afterwards, a warm bath is nice and soothing.
Babies thrive with love, acceptance and cuddling. Babies need to feel safe, if they are to thrive.You have to protect and guide your baby to adulthood. You have to give it roots and wings. There will be challenges along the way and occasions that test your patience. There will be times when you don’t know what to do. Many people will offer unsolicited advice, but only you know your Baby. Listen to your intuition. Listen to what your Baby is trying to tell you. Your Baby may not have words, but if you listen with your heart and compassion, you will have a better understanding.
You may not think your Baby understands what you are saying, but Baby is far more intuitive than you could ever imagine. Baby learns and is molded by what it hears. It mimics back to you what it hears. Harsh, spiteful, words can bruise the delicate nature and become ingrained. Nothing is uglier than a Baby repeating ugly words. Only speak words of kindness, encouragement and blessings over your Baby New Year. Do not reinforce, or even draw unnecessary attention to shortfalls, or mistakes, or faults. Affirm what you want to see. Affirm the highest good for your Baby and envision the loving relationship you so desire, as it grows to adulthood. Then you will find that your “Baby” nurtures and cares for you because of the love, tenderness and patience that you gave it throughout its infancy and on its path to adulthood, and you will both thrive.
Each year you have the great good fortune to be given a Baby New Year. Do not compare your new Baby with your previous babies; each is individual and unique. Comparing them will not change them. It will not make one more like the other. It will only cause hurt feelings and possibly resentment. Do not label or put limitations on your Baby. See only the goodness that you wish for your Baby New Year. Accept this as a fact, as a deed already done. Your Baby New Year has a personality all it’s own and try as you may, you cannot change this. But, if you have love, respect and a good sense of humor, you’ll both thrive and come through more resilient, happy and healthy with fond memories for many years to come.
Baby New Year can pick up on your energy. Baby can feel your love. Mostly be grateful that you have been graced with this beautiful Baby New Year. Open yourself up to the goodness that awaits you. Magnify the presence of that goodness and celebrate it and share it. It may inspire other people to form a more loving bond with their own Baby New Year. It may show them what's possible with love and joy and kindness.
Happy Parenting! I just know you'll be wonderful at it!
👶 ❤️ 🎶 Xoj