Baby talk….

When friends get together they talk about allsorts of things –  if they are like mine it’s ‘anything and everything’ – and if they happen to be ladies of the older type (like a few of mine are) it often happens that lots of those ‘anything’s’ talked about are families, grandchildren and great grand ones for some of us in particular 😊

Being able to get together again has meant that some are discussing how those same grandchildren are/have been coping with the pandemic.

I was a bit surprised the other day hearing one of them reliving something I remember vividly, something that happened about 10 yrs ago when she was asked to mind her newish grandchild, a little babe about 4 months old.  Something she herself feels is one of the reasons her grandaughter has always been quiet and withdrawn.

The mother (the d in law) brought the baby over and had left a list of ‘dos and don’ts’

One item on the list was the suggestion that the baby was not to be picked up and cuddled.  She was to be left in the pusher – one of those newish ones with all the bells and whistles – to lie there and look around and just take in her surroundings.

My friend had been really upset over this and had rung her son to ask him if this is what went on at home – was the babe just left to lie there without being picked up and cuddled and talked to.  His reply was, ‘Mum thats the way **** wants to raise her and I’m not going to interfere’

At that time (10 years ago now) I felt (and still do) it was such a shame, the little one would miss out on all that contact she needed early in life, her family – grandma included – would also miss so much.  

My belief is it’s through that physical, visual and verbal contact you have with babies that they learn so much.  Remember all the funny noises they make when they are tiny and all the funny faces they pull – it’s through you encouraging them, that all of that happens.  I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that says you don’t encourage baby talk – yes, when they are starting to form words you try to get them to say the correct one but I’m talking about when they are really tiny.  

Holding and touching baby – clothed or otherwise to me is good

Goo Gooing and pulling faces to me is good

Yes it a very young me and ‘our little girl’

1964 – We were living in Singapore when she happened to be the same age as my friend’s grandaughter.  Our little one was really getting into the ‘finding her voice’ stage…..It wasn’t a performance because I was unaware The Golfer was taking these photos but am so glad he did.  Its the way I was with all of our five – the way I think everyone should be with their children – we just happen to have proof that that was the way it was with ours.

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I’m curious to know how others feel – are there times for one and times for the other?

~ Pick up and cuddle or let lie to observe ~

Do babies miss out or not?

( ps – there is a follow up tale to this I will relate another time)

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Baby Talk – published March 21, 2022

Linking to Denyse’s new fortnightly on a Monday feature ~ ~ Life’s Stories

30 thoughts on “Baby talk….

    1. Hello GNGram It’s a natural caring feeling that ‘most’ mothers experience. Sadly at that time this didn’t happen in this situation.

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  1. You are assuredly correct. Non contact with babies is the exact opposite of how we have evolved and that there is much more physical contact between babies and toddlers with parents and others is different to how I was brought up is a very good thing.

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    1. There are times when circumstances cause those feelings and events to not happen Andrew. Sadly it happens more frequently than the general public realise.

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  2. I can’t imagine not picking a baby up and giving cuddles or talking to him/her. It is the most natural thing to do and important for their development. I wonder if there is any bond between the girl and her parents.

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  3. Oh wow! So sad to hear this. I definitely agree with you. That mom definitely has a problem and that is pretty extreme. Some women shouldn’t have children, and she is one. She needs counseling, and unfortunately the Dad too, in order to be “permitted” to snuggle with his own child. All humans and most living creatures need warmth and cuddling. It is part of their development in order to become trusting and feel safe, and learn who to feel safe with.
    My last husband’s family told me about his previous wife: during a winter storm with power outages the couple and newborn baby went to his parents’ house for a week since it still had power. The new mom was SO unaffectionate that in order to nurse the baby, the grandmother held the baby up to the mom’s breast to feed. The mom didn’t even want to hold the baby for feeding! Fortunately the couple divorced, and the boy was in custody with the father.
    Grandparents have the right to disobey the rules set by the parents. That child will really need the cuddling and hugs. Linda in Kansas

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    1. All those years ago this mum certainly had a problem which thankfully was caught before it did real damage. Unfortunately these type of problems can’t be foreseen as often it’s circumstances that provide the starting point There’s more to the story that I’ll reveal soon

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  4. Children need cuddles. ALL baby animals need physical contact and communication. That poor kid is going to have a lot of attachment issues.

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    1. Caroline you’re right that nurturing through touch is essential – which is why we were all so upset during that time. There’s more to the story that I’ll reveal soon

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  5. good grief, if they don’t start to “cuddle and smoother the child with love” they will lose out big time as the child will not have much to do with them later in life – Maybe get into the wrong crowd and end up in dire straits!
    If I was the grandmother (I’m not even a mother) and I had that list, I would carefully lose in the bin and then proceed to give “love” and for pretty sakes will the Mother know when she collects said “object (meaning that’s what the mother believes it is)”

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    1. At the time seemed strange to us onlookers that someone could act that way, go against those natural maternal feelings Cathy but as my follow up post will reveal there were reasons for the mothers behaviour.

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  6. How can you not pick them up and cuddle them and coo. They’re soft and sweet and oh so loveable . I hope the babe gets cuddles elsewhere

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  7. Babies thrive on contact, verbal and tactile.
    A story: Once upon a time in a child hospital, parents not velcome, contact discouraged and so on, in days if old. The little one in the bed left of the door always survived and got healthy way faster than the others. Why? The night nurse sat there, holding the little one’s hand and whispering to it. This was one of the great breakthrough in child care history.

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    1. … your story hurts me inside. Contact, love, words are the things we all rich, poor, old, young smart or stupid all over the globe have to give to our children. I want to travel there, now, and snatch this baby with me home and cuddle and never let go and say strange sounds and let my other children share in the joy of having yet another little one.

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  8. Back in the 50’s our Mothers were told to put baby in the pram in the garden by themselves, whatever the weather. And we were all on four hourly feeds. Thank goodness things changed , yes I picked up my children and talked to them. My Mum even gave me a book called Talk your Children into reading. I should think not being cuddled would cause emotional harm.

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    1. I remember those suggestions of fresh and sunshine being good for babies in 1960s when our children were born, oh and trying to stick to 4hourly feeds was a nightmare. Baby was hungry- baby got fed – baby happy – mother possibly exhausted but if baby was happy all was well

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    1. Feelings become evident and actions happen for many reasons – it’s not for us to be judgemental rather to find those reasons. As I mentioned this happened 10years ago Kate….my follow up post will explain

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  9. I agree with you, picking them up, cuddling talking is so important Cathy. If that had been me as the grandma, I would have picked up the baby regardless.

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    1. Attitudes have varied over the years Debbie but I believe deep down most of us have those maternal feelings, sometimes circumstances alter them. Usually grandmas know best 😊

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  10. Oh, it’s fraught isn’t it?! I’m not a mother or grandmother obviously so haven’t had to deal with that but have friends and family who’ve been in challenging situations where they’ve had to bite their tongues a number of times.

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  11. Oh gosh, that sounds almost like the parenting I had, where in early 1950s Mum was to put me in the pram, out in the sunshine etc etc (there were rules in the baby book/card) I cannot fathom “not” picking up a child and interacting with him/her ..but so-called Mum rules…We cared for 3 of our son’s children at baby age from around 4-6 months and we did as much to keep to baby’s routine such as a ‘wrappie’ (muslin cloth) nearby etc but we never felt restricted. Nor did we spoil. It’s one of life’s greatest memories for me and my husband now to know we had great times of interaction most weeks with each of our 7/8 grandkids. Sadly Miss 8 was born once we left Sydney and I feel that loss a lot. I LOVED seeing those photos of you!! Thank you so much for linking your blog post up for Life’s Stories my “now” fortnightly blogging link up at Denyse Whelan Blogs.

    I appreciate your support and continuing blogging connections and friendships.

    I will be back with the next #LifesStories link up on Monday 11 April 2022.

    Denyse.

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