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Why are care routines more important than just physical care?

In this chapter we look at signals and responses between baby Orson and his Mum. We examine the importance of understanding a baby's attempt to signal what they need from us and how this links to their emotional development.

Good for looking at

  • how babies sort out information
  • the power of care routine times for the developing brain
  • emotional development
  • developing attachments
  • reading signals
  • breast feeding

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Transcript of video – Why are care routines more important than just physical care?

It is the every day care routines that provide perfect opportunities for learning to communicate and socialise. Feeding times are filled with rich experiences for Orson. As well as satisfying his hunger, the sucking action soothes him. All of his senses are stimulated – he is touched, he can taste and smell mum’s milk, he can see her and make eye contact, she talks to him. All of these experiences are linked with his mum and the repetitive nature of feeding, and all care routines, means that strong connections are being made in Orson’s brain.

‘Everyday routines are really crucial for babies because they provide a way for the baby to sort out the information that’s coming in an almost chaotic fashion. So when the baby gets a routine that happens over and over again it becomes familiar. They’re wonderful opportunities to reinforce those relationships as well as sorting out the physical care that the baby needs as well.’

Here’s a reflex smile. He’s feeling full, warm, comfortable and secure. His muscles relax. Mum responds immediately smiling back, sharing the moment. She’s really beginning to understand some of his signals. She’s found that when he’s dirtied his nappy he wriggles and squirms with discomfort. All babies are different and working out their signals means that mum can interpret these and give babies what they need. In this way, babies like Orson will begin to trust that when they are uncomfortable, distressed or bored someone will sort it out quickly.