If you’re a new parent, or you’ve just had another baby, then including some mindful meditation may be the answer to not only enjoying more calm, but really being present with your baby.
Being mindful is really just another way of saying being focused on something with a relaxed awareness and an attitude of non-judgment. While for those that may not have meditated before it may seem like it could be a bit difficult to do, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think.
We already spend some of time being mindful, even if we are not aware of it. Any time you find yourself being really present with something, be it a place, a person, an experience, or even a moment where you are not distracted, then you are practicing mindfulness.
It’s the one thing that we can do anytime and anywhere that instantly settles the mind and allows us to let go and relax into whatever we are doing so that we can enjoy the moment to the fullest.
That’s why if you can spend more mindful moments with your baby then not only will you feel more connected and in tune with them, you’ll also be giving them the benefit of being right there in the moment with them.
3 quick ways to meditate with your bub
1. Mindful feeding
Whether you are breastfeeding or using a bottle take a couple of deep breaths before you get started to allow the mind to settle. Then be aware of each moment from when you pick up your baby to when they start feeding. Notice whether you are rushing or staying calm. Try not to think so much about what you are doing and instead be aware of what your hands and body are doing while you are feeding your baby.
Feel the warmth of your baby in your arms, and let yourself look, listen, and feel with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment. You can also try to focus your attention on the movements you baby makes as it feeds. Notice how the movements change from moment to moment. When you notice your mind wandering, just bring your attention back to focusing on the movements that you baby is making.
2. Mindful chilling
Chilling out with your baby is a great way to give yourself a break and let go of worrying about your to-do list for a while. It’ll help get you out of your head and into your body so you can feel more relaxed and enjoy a deeper connection with your bub.
You can either be sitting in a comfortable position or laying down next to your baby for this exercise and they should be falling asleep by this stage. Notice the rising and falling of their belly as they breathe in and out of their body. Stay focused on their breath and if you can match your breathing with theirs. No matter what thoughts or feelings arise just keep bring your attention back to watching their breath come in and go out of their body.
3. Mindful dancing
This is a very beautiful exercise to do with your baby. Put on some music you love to dance to and then pick up your baby so that you are both as comfortable as possible. Then take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and then let your body start to slowly move to the music. Focus all your attention on the motion of your body with your baby safely being cuddled in your arms. Dance for as long as both you and baby are happy and enjoying it.
When you finish any of these exercises take a few moments to pause and reflect on how both you and bub benefited from your mindfulness session. By adding a little mindfulness to your parenting on a daily basis you’ll be amazed at the difference in how you feel about yourself as a parent, as well as your connection with your baby.
Babies are very sensitive to energy so when you are feeling calm and present then they will pick up on it and enjoy it too.