“We believe an understanding of how babies experience the world and how they enthusiastically take part in relationships and interaction is the foundation to social and emotional development. Only when we listen to the baby’s voice (through having an understanding of their behaviour) from birth, can we give truly responsive, empathetic, individualised care.”
The Brazelton Centre UK is delighted to see the launch of the ‘Shaping Us’ campaign*1 by the Royal Foundation’s Centre for Early Childhood this month. The campaign aims to increase awareness of how the first years of life shape us as people. Findings from the ‘Understanding attitudes to early childhood’ research*2, showed that knowledge about the specific importance of the 0-5 age period is low. We look forward to seeing the impact ‘Shaping Us’ will have on growing society’s understanding of the importance of early childhood .
As part of the campaign, we were thrilled to see the recent photograph shared by the Princess of Wales of herself as a baby interacting with her father and the adjoining caption “Faces are a baby’s best toy”. This phrase is one of the Brazelton Centre UK’s key messages to parents in our resources about baby communication and behaviour – it was exciting to see this picked up by Her Royal Highness!
At the Brazelton Centre UK we want to share our excitement and support for the ‘Shaping Us’ campaign; we believe that all recognition, promotion and investment in the early years period is of huge value but of course we have a particular passion for the newborn period! The antenatal and newborn stage of a person’s life really is the ‘age of opportunity’ – the earlier we start, the greater impact we can have. It would be a misconception to think that the first 3 months after birth are primarily about meeting the baby’s physical needs (feeding, changing etc). Starting meaningful, responsive, intentional interaction from birth is vitally important to the growing brain and the developing attachment.
Babies are exceedingly sociable – through our work at the Brazelton Centre UK we aim to promote an understanding of the amazing social capacities/skills of babies right from birth. We believe an understanding of how babies experience the world and how they enthusiastically take part in relationships and interaction is the foundation to social and emotional development. Only when we listen to the baby’s voice (through having an understanding of their behaviour) from birth, can we (parents, carers, practitioners) give truly responsive, empathetic, individualised care.
Even more exciting is that baby behaviour is a universal language, meaning that this knowledge can impact every baby on every corner of the planet. As The Princess of Wales has said, “Big change starts small” – we couldn’t agree more. We look forward to giving this campaign our continued support and contributing our passion for newborns.