Opinion of Sophie Marinopoulos, psychologist and psychoanalyst
A carried baby is a secure baby
Our observations of very young children have taught us that for a child to be able to become less dependent on the adult he must be nurtured close to the adult. A baby experiences different growth stages where physical closeness is one of his or her fundamental needs. Taking the time to carry your child therefore plays a vital role. The closeness achieved when carrying your child promotes sensorimotor exchanges and plays an active part in his stimulation.
From a sensory point of view, when you carry your baby, this stimulates the baby, giving him a very pleasant feeling which, over time, translates into well-being. Specialists talk about the feeling developing into primary narcissism which is the very first stage of self-esteem. It is an important inner strength which gives the baby his initial self-confidence.
On the motor side, the adult's movements, body rhythms and vibrations are all stimulants which the baby perceives in his body. A combination which allows the parent and baby to share some special moments. These early perceptions are the basis of future motor skills, which he will gradually use to hold his head up and later to crawl, sit up, try to catch objects, to walk on all fours and then to stand up.
A baby carried is a baby cared for
Moments of intimacy are conducive to the parent-baby bond. When you carry your baby you are really interacting with him or her and sharing a moment which fosters the bond, promotes mutual understanding and brings the thought process and the body together as one. A parent who carries their child is more confident in their relationship with their child. The parent smells the child, kisses him, caresses him and talks softly to him. He feels heartened by these simple gestures and his self-assurance grows. He instinctively learns the gestures required to care for the child. This mutual discovery takes place in complete tranquility and the baby senses this peacefulness and stores it up like good milk.
As a result, each of you finds your rhythm in these special moments which have such wonderful benefits. May pleasure remain the focal point of these intimate family moments.
I hope that each and every one of you will enjoy carrying your baby.
Psychologist, psychoanalyst, specialist in child development and the parent-child bond, founder and director of the Department for the Prevention and Protection of Mental Health [Service de Prévention et de Protection de la Santé Psychique], author of a number of works including "Pourquoi porter bébé ?" (Published by LLL Les Liens qui Libèrent, 2009)