Breathing into Stillness: Create relaxation with mindfulness while parenting infants
I am in awe of how breathing with your baby on your chest can be so mutually soothing to both parent and child. Just as Dr. Ed Tronick’s theory of mutual regulation and the simultaneous consciousness of parent and infant can impact the child’s brain development, breathing in this way also calms the nervous parent and encourages the child to self soothe.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting families with young infants at a workshop I gave on Infant Development. I was so grateful to have the chance to share developmental re patterning, milestones, and some more understanding of sensory processing issues and put some of their fears to rest. As I went around the group handling the babies and offering insights, movement patterns and tips to work with the children, I was brought back to the yogic breathing as a way for parent and infant to connect to one another again for the level of the cells. Gently becoming in sync with one another’s breathing is beneficial for both parent and child. This simple activity can be shared with families during the hectic holiday season for another tip to reduce stress.
Barbara Neiman is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Yoga and Mindfulness teacher, Body-Mind Centering Practitioner, and a National Presenter & Educator. She is the author of The Adopted Teen Workbook, My Calm Place Card Deck and Mindfulness and Yoga Skills for Children and Adolescents. She offers courses and coaching online and in-person to schools and agencies around the country.