5 Things NOT to Do to Babies

When I had a puppy, he hated to be ignored or left alone. At those times he would chew up the furniture. Babies hate these things too, but they can’t damage the furniture to let us know. Instead, their development gets undermined and we and society have to live with the anxious and depressed results.

What should we NOT do to babies?


1. Ignore them (don’t)

Under natural birth conditions, newborns are ready to communicate with mother, father and others. Colwyn Trevarthen has videos showing newborn communication with a parent. Of course, they cannot talk but they can grunt and move their arms (the left arm is typically self-referential and the right arm focused on the partner). Some mothers communicate with the baby in the womb through singing, reading, talking, or even thumping. In indigenous cultures, the mother is responsible for shaping the spirit of the child with communications like these to the baby before and after birth, even creating a unique song for that child (e.g., Turnbull, 1983).

Grazyna Kochanska’s (2002) program of research shows that it is a “mutually-responsive orientation” that leads over time to the most positive outcomes, like conscience, prosocial behavior, and friendship skills. Mutually-responsive means the parent and child both influence each other, building a relationship cooperatively. Trevarthen (1979, 1999, 2001) suggests that this type of companionship care provides an optimal environment for emotional and intellectual development. The parent and child together develop their own ongoing creative stories and games that continue to change over time. 

Why is a companionship relationship particularly important for babies? The first three years of life is a time when tacit (non-conscious) understanding of how the social world works is developed and it gets wired into how the brain works (Schore, 1994, 1996). With responsive care, the brain’s systems learn to work well and thereby keep the person healthy and socially engaged. What is learned during early life will be applied ever after to relationships (unless changed with therapy or other significant brain-changing experiences). 

Babies who are born early or experience non-soothing perinatal experiences may need to be gently wooed by caregivers into a back-and-forth communicative relationship. This means caregivers have to be especially calming and sensitive to the baby’s signals—teasing her into relating, but only when she is ready. Skin-to-skin touch, singing and whispering comforting words may be helpful for the very withdrawn.

2. Let them cry (don’t)

Imagine being in pain and asking for help and being ignored. How does that make you feel about yourself (bad) and about your family (angry)? It’s so much worse for a baby; he has rapidly growing brain systems that are learning their dance patterns for social living and for physiological functioning.

If babies regularly get distressed, their bodies are being trained to be anxious and distrustful of themselves and of others. Most of what they learn from undercare is tacit knowledge that may not be noticeable until later when they are inflexible, self-centered and easily stressed out. Know anyone like that?

When young babies cry they are not having tantrums or being little emperors. They have needs and communicate them the only way that they can.

But if you wait for a cry before alleviating discomfort, you are waiting too long.

Young babies have a hard time stopping crying so you don’t want to let them start. To keep babies from crying, caregivers must pay attention to the nonverbal signals babies give (restlessness, frown, grimace, flailing arms) and nip discomfort in the bud. This is what wise grandmothers do.

Young babies need to breastfeed frequently, as human breastmilk is thin but filled with the body’s building blocks. Babies also need to move a lot, which helps them grow. So if you know the baby just had a good feed, then keep him calm with patting, bouncing, rocking. They expect the caregiver to be emotionally present with skin-to-skin contact, so talk, sing, be.

In the first four months of life, babies are likely to be more fussy (but that doesn’t mean they must cry). This is also the time period that seems to set the level of responsiveness between baby and caregiver that lasts for years after (according to our and Ruth Feldman’s research; Feldman, Greenbaum & Yirmiya, 1999). Caregivers should be especially attentive to when a young baby starts to fuss by noticing facial expression and gestures and offer preventative comfort that relaxes them again. Preventing crying in the first place is the goal (and ancient wisdom). 

A mother visited my class with a baby a few months old. We passed the baby around until he began to grimace. Then the mother took him, stood up and held him in her arm, stomach down and rocked and bounced him back and forth. He looked very content and remained quiet for the rest of the period.

Now, I should say that if a caregiver is feeling so frustrated that she is ready to throw the baby against the wall, in that case, it is best to leave the room and let the baby cry. (See Period of Purple Cry for guidelines; and see these cautions.) But of course, it is best not to let such a regular crying pattern get established in the first days and weeks of life. 

3. Leave them alone (don’t) 

Babies are built to be physically connected to caregivers. They do not understand why they are alone.

Imagine being suddenly left alone in a strange land where you cannot move or take care of yourself. It would be terrifying, even if you understood what was going on. Why do this to a child? 

Children are mammals who rely on the companionship of adults to care for their needs until they can do it themselves. Although people talk as if you can force babies to learn independence, this is an imaginary outcome. If you isolate babies, the opposite happens—they become whiney and needy or quiet and torn up inside, in both cases preoccupied with themselves.

One of the hallmarks of people who don’t help others when they are in a situation of need is personal distress (Batson, 2011). Personal distress makes empathy and compassionate action very unlikely. Making babies stress reactive from undercare may be a good way to build an easily distressed personality and create a society of self-concerned folks. 

4. Not hold them whenever possible (please hold them) 

Babies are meant to be held. This should start immediately. First impressions of you and the world are fundamental. Can they relax into being? Learning a deep relaxation and sense of peace is what they will carry forward into life. If they don’t have a regular experience of relaxing into loving arms, they may never learn to relax and let go. Such a letting go is vital for health (Kabat-Zinn, 1991). 

When babies are physically apart from caregivers (not “in arms”), pain responses are activated, influencing the presence of various hormones and neuropeptides right when systems are being established (Ladd, Owens & Nemeroff, 1996; Panksepp, 2003; Sanchez et al., 2001). Separation dysregulates multiple systems over the long term. For example, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), a part of the stress response system becomes dysregulated and hyperactive (Caldji, Tannenbaum, Sharma, et al., 1998; Levine, 1994; Plotsky & Meaney, 1993). Even a 3-hour daily separation (in infant mice—and human babies are much more needy and social) caused enough early life stress to induce epigenetic effects that heightened stress reactivity and caused deficits in memory function in adulthood (Murgatroyd & Spengler, 2009). Moreover, limited touch in early life leads to an underdevelopment of serotonin receptors, endogenous opioids and oxytocin—chemicals that are related to happiness (Kalin, 1993; Meinischmidt & Heim, 2007). 

So don’t take untouched babies lightly.

Babies should feel welcome in adult arms apart from the times they themselves feel the urge to explore (though a fearful toddler may sometimes need encouragement to explore). When babies want to explore, it should be allowed as much as possible. 

Here is an interesting anecdote. When an American was visiting an African village, she saw a young child reaching for the fire and automatically slapped his hand away. An African elder scolded her for doing so, saying, ‘if you do that you will have to watch him carefully for the rest of his life.’ That is, children need to learn about their own world without being overguarded or they will never learn to behave safely on their own.

Numbers 1-4 are punishing. Babies are not meant to be without adult caring companionship at any time and don’t grow as well without it. But there is one more specifically about intentional punishment of babies. 

5. Punish them (don’t)

Some parents spank or hit their babies (almost 1/3 of 12-month-olds in the USA are spanked, according to recent research)! This is very bad news. Corporal punishment might be an immediate release of frustration for the caregiver but, like most aggressive acts, it can have long-term negative effects.

Recall that babies are learning what life is about from the way they are treated and what they practice. Punishment has several obvious damaging effects: 

(a) The baby may have less trust in a caregiver’s love and care, as the caregiver is not safe to relax around;

(b) The baby may have less trust in himself—caregivers have taught him that his urges are unimportant and even bad to have—talk about how to undermine self-development;

(c) If caregivers punish babies for wanting to explore, they may undermine motivation for learning (affecting school achievement later);  

(d) The baby may learn that it’s best to suppress her interests around the caregiver, influencing communication with the caregiver;

(e) A recent study of audio recordings of families shows not only that parents are very impatient but that misbehavior increases after spanking.

(f) Physiologically, punishment will activate the stress response, which is not advisable in early life when thresholds and parameters for functioning are being set.

If you want to optimize a baby’s brain, health and wellbeing for the long term, don’t do these five things.

Warm, responsive parenting is one of the best predictors of positive child outcomes (e.g., getting along with others, doing well in school). Responsive caregiving means attending to the individuality of the child in a particular situation. So caregivers have to be emotionally present, not distracted by their own worries, phones or work. 

“But I’m a tired, frustrated parent” 

Clearly babies take a lot of care to get them off to a good start. That’s why the adage “it takes a village to raise a child” is often mentioned. Yes, it takes more than one person (usually mom) or even two people (usually mom and dad) to meet one baby’s needs. So if you are a frustrated, tired parent, get help with caregiving. Here are just a few examples from experience but parents, please add suggestions:

(a) Arrange gatherings with other families, exchange babysitting, share meal making and clean up.

(b) Lower expectations for your personal goals. I remember hearing a mother say after several months of struggle that she learned to surrender to the needs of the baby. Taking care of baby’s needs is an investment you won’t regret. 

(c) If you can, have one parent or adult family member not work outside the home so she or he can focus on childcare (which should decrease stress). Apparently, stay-at-home mothering has been increasing. This is a good idea as long as parents don’t isolate themselves with their children.

(d) Parenting is not meant to be a solo act. Parents should structure their lives around support systems. And everyone should all give parents help whenever possible.

Babies follow built-in needs (see Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Babies). Deny them at the peril of making a less healthy, happy and agreeable child.

NOTE on BASIC ASSUMPTIONS: When I write about parenting, I assume the importance of the evolved developmental niche (EDN) for raising human infants (which initially arose over 30 million years ago with the emergence of the social mammals and has been slightly altered among human groups based on anthropological research).

The EDN is the baseline I use for determining what fosters optimal human health, wellbeing and compassionate morality. The niche includes at least the following: infant-initiated breastfeeding for several years, nearly constant touch early, responsiveness to needs so the young child does not get distressed, playful companionship with multi-aged playmates, multiple adult caregivers, positive social support, and soothing perinatal experiences.

All these characteristics are linked to health in mammalian and human studies (for reviews, see Narvaez, Panksepp, Schore & Gleason, 2013; Narvaez, Valentino, Fuentes, McKenna & Gray, 2014; Narvaez, 2014) Thus, shifts away from the EDN baseline are risky. My comments and posts stem from these basic assumptions.


Related Reading by Dr. Narvaez at Peaceful Parenting: 

An 'On Demand' Life and the Basic Needs of Babies

Where Are All the Happy Babies?

The Dangers of Crying It Out

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Babies

5 Things NOT to Do to Babies

12 Ways to Nurture Babies at Conception, Birth, and Beyond

Are you treating your child like a prisoner?

Are you or your child on a touch starvation diet?

Conspiracy Thinking: Understanding Attachment and Its Consequences

Psychology Today: Circumcision Series

Learn More from Narvaez:

The Evolved Nest Institute

Kindred Media

Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom

💜 Peaceful Parenting Community

💙 Peaceful Parenting on Facebook

💗 Peaceful Parenting on Telegram

References

Batson, C.D. (2011). Altruism in humans. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Caldji, C., Tannenbaum, B. Sharma, S., Francis, D, Plotsky, P.M., & Meaney, M.J. (1998). Maternal care during infancy regulates the development of neural systems mediating the expression of fearfulness in the rat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA95(9), 5335-5340.

Feldman, R., Greenbaum, C.W., & Yirmiya, N. (1999). Mother–infant affect synchrony as an antecedent of the emergence of self-control. Developmental Psychology, 35(1), 223-231.

Hrdy, S. (2009). Mothers and others: The evolutionary origins of mutual understanding. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (1991). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Delta.

Kalin, N. H. (1993). The neurobiology of fear. Scientific American, 268, 94–101.

Kochanska, G. (2002b). Mutually responsive orientation between mothers and their young children: A context for the early development of conscience. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11(6), 191-195. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00198

Ladd, C. O., Owens, M. J., & Nemeroff, C. B. (1996). Persistent changes in corticotropin-releasing factor neuronal systems induced by maternal deprivation. Endocrinology, 137, 1212–1218.

Levine, S. (1994). The ontogeny of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: The influence of  maternal factors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 746, 275-288.

Liedloff, J. (1986). The Continuum concept. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.

Meinlschmidt, G., & Heim, C. (2007). Sensitivity to intranasal oxytocin in adult men with early prenatal separations. Biological Psychiatry, 61(9), 1109-1111.

Murgatroyd, C., Spengler D (2011). Epigenetics of early child development. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 16 (2), 1-15.

Murgatroyd, C., Spengler D (2011). Epigenetics of early child development. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 16 (2), 1-15.

Plotsky, P. M., & Meaney, M. J. (1993). Early, postnatal experience alters hypothalamic corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA, median eminence CRF content and stress-induced release in adult rats. Molecular Brain Research, 18, 195–200.

Sanchez, M.M., Ladd, C.O., & Plotsky, P.M. (2001). Early adverse experience as a developmental risk factor for later psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 13(3), 419-449.

Schore, A. N. (1994). Affect regulation and the origin of the self. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Schore, A.N. (1996). The experience-dependent maturation of a regulatory system in the orbital prefrontal cortex and the origin of developmental psychopathology. Developmental Psychopathology, 8, 59–87.

Trevarthen, C. (1979). Communication cooperation in early infancy: A description of primary intersubjectivity. In M. Bullowa (Ed.), Before speech: The beginning of human communication (pp. 321–347). London, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Trevarthen, C. (1999). Musicality and the intrinsic motive pulse: Evidence from human psychobiology and infant communication. Musicae Scientiae, Special Issue, 157–213.

Trevarthen, C. (2001). Intrinsic motives for companionship in understanding: Their origin, development and significance for infant mental health. Infant Mental Health Journal, 22(1–2), 95–131.

Turnbull, C.M. (1983). The human cycle. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Not a Pacifier

By Sarah for Nurshable: Joy in Gentle Parenting
Read more by Sarah here.



Dear Daughter,

You are three weeks old. You nursed pretty much straight through the night last night, as I sort of drifted in and out of being fully awake.

You’re going through a growth spurt.

When you switch sides I feel the sting of letdown. Sometimes you nurse eagerly and gulp down the milk. Sometimes you become upset because you don’t want milk. Or you don’t want the fast flow of my over-active letdown. Sometimes you just want to lay in the semi-dark and nurse peacefully while your little dark blue eyes stare at my face and your little feet kick the still-soft skin of my belly which was your former home. Sometimes you want to comfort nurse. When this happens I kiss your forehead and switch you back to the “empty” side and let you lay close. You are a wise little creature that understands what it is that you need.

I am not a human pacifier.

Usually when a mom says that, it’s an expression of frustration that their infant insists on suckling for comfort. This is not what I mean when I say this.

I am not a warm human substitute for a cold silicone and plastic doohickey.

Your father may sometimes be a human pacifier. You suckle on his pinky finger during diaper changes or when I desperately need to wash my milk-stained body in the shower and remember for a few moments that I have two arms with two hands and that the dimensions of my body do not include an oddly independent nine pound female child that is frequently suspended from my body in a wrap of lightweight gauze. Your grandfather may be a human pacifier, as he holds you lovingly while I get your big brothers ready for bed or eat a hot meal without waiting for it to cool first- a luxury of not being afraid of hot bits of soup falling on you while I eat. Your brothers may briefly be human pacifiers when they offer up their pinky fingers for you to suck on, always imitating their daddy.Your grandma may be a human pacifier when she offers you her pinky finger to suck on and sings you Russian songs from her childhood.

But my breasts are not pacifiers. Comfort sucking is not time wasted. It’s part of the job that my body and you have. It is how we evolved. We are the product of a long process of evolution that causes you to seek out my arms and my breasts, to suckle for comfort, to communicate with my immune system, to stay close and warm and protected, to stimulate the supply of your food, your antibodies, the components of breastmilk that scientists can see but cannot identify the function of.

Maybe you want the comfort of non-nutritive suckling because there is something that has you stressed out. Maybe you want a slow flow of high fat hindmilk that comes from comfort nursing. Maybe your body has some bacteria in it and you need the closeness so that your immune system can communicate with my immune system and it all can be taken care of without either of us ever knowing and without you ever becoming sick from the foreign invaders that your body cannot cope with but that my adult immune system attacks with the ferocity of a mama bear defending her cub.

Independence will come at your pace. “I DO IT MYSELF!” will become the phrase of the moment soon enough. The need to peel off and be independent is as natural a need as the need to breathe, to sleep and to eat. It comes from within the child when the child has the ability. It has come from within your brothers as they get older. It will come from within you as well. I can see it already as you bob your head against my chest in the wrap and peek over the side eager to strengthen your muscles and look at the world.

I choose to neither hold you past when you wish to be held, nor deny you comfort while it is something that you seek. I push you gently to be independent, recognizing that your world naturally expands within your comfort zone without me needing to push you past it into tears.

I am not a “human pacifier”. I am what you have a biological and evolutionary need for. I will not devalue your needs by implying that you lack the wisdom and understanding of what those needs are. I will not devalue your needs by becoming frustrated by your refusal to accept something that does not meet those needs. I want you to listen to your body from the beginning, to understand the difference between a healthy need of yours and a pacifying object. To have an understanding that dates back to the beginnings of your time on this planet.. That comfort comes from having your needs met, not from distracting yourself with something pink, pretty and plastic.

No manufacturer makes what you need for happiness, little one. I want you to understand this from the beginning of your life. Happiness comes from love, from closeness, and from deep inside of you. Seek this happiness, and never be distracted by things that simply pacify you rather than satisfying your needs.


Sarah is a gentle parenting mom of three who writes at Nurshable. Learn more about her passions and how to 'wait it out' when it comes to baby sleep at her site

Breastfeeding mothers are welcome to join the Breastfeeding Group: FB.com/groups/Breastfed

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Babies


Have you noticed all the stressed babies? Maybe 1 in 30 I see has glowing eyes, which I take as a sign of thriving. What's up? Perhaps ignorance about babies and their needs. Here are 10 things to know.

1. Babies are social mammals with social mammalian needs. Social mammals emerged more than 30 million years ago with intensive parenting(a developmental nest or niche). This is one of the many (extra-genetic) things that evolved other than genes. This developmental nest matches up with the maturational schedule and thus is required for an individual to develop optimally. Intensive parenting practices for babies include years of breastfeeding to develop brain and body systems, nearly constant touch and physical presence of caregivers, responsiveness to needs preventing distress, free play with multi-aged playmates, and soothing perinatal experiences. Each of these has significant effects on physical health.

2. Human babies are born "half-baked" and require an external womb. Humans are born way early compared to other animals: nine months early in terms of mobility and 18 months early in terms of bone development and foraging capacities. Full-term babies have 25% of adult brain volume and most of it grows in the first five years. Thus, the human nest for its young evolved to be even more intense than for other social mammals because of the underdeveloped newborn, lasting for three to five years. Humans also added to the list of expected care a village of positive social support for both mother and baby. (Actually, human brain development lasts into the third decade of life, suggesting that social support and mentoring continue at least that long.)

3. If adults mess up on the post-birth “baking,” long-term problems can result. Each of the caregiving practices mentioned above has longterm effects on the physical health but also the social health of the individual. For example, distressing babies regularly or intensively (by not giving them what they need) undermines self-regulatory systems. This is common knowledge in other cultures and was so in our past. In Spanish, there is a term used for adolescents and adults who misbehave: malcriado (misraised).

4. Babies thrive on affectionate love. When babies receive food and diaper changes and little else, they die. If they receive partial attention and stay alive, it is still not enough—they won’t reach their full potential. Urie Bronfenbrenner, who emphasized the multiple systems of support that foster optimal development, said that babies do best when at least one person is crazy about them. Others have noted that children grow best with three affectionate, consistent caregivers. In fact, babies expect more than mom and dad for loving care. Babies are ready for a community of close, responsive caregivers that includes mother nearby.

5. Babies’ right hemisphere of the brain is developing rapidly in the first three years. The right hemisphere develops in response to face-to-face social experience, with extended shared eye gaze. The right hemisphere governs several self-regulatory systems. If babies are placed in front of screens, ignored or isolated, they are missing critical experiences.

6. Babies expect to play and move. Babies expect to be “in arms” or on the body of the caregiver most of the time. Skin-to-skin contact is a calming influence. After learning this one of my students when at a family gathering took a crying baby and held it to his neck, which calmed it down. Babies expect companionship not isolation or intrusion. They expect to be in the middle of community social life. They are ready to play from birth. Play is a primary method for learning self-control and social skills. Companionship care—friendship, mutual responsiveness, and playfulness—builds social and practical intelligence. Babies and caregivers share intersubjective states, building the child’s capacities for the interpersonal “dances” that fill social life.

7. Babies have built-in warning systems. If they are not getting what they need, babies let you know. It is best, as most cultures have long known, to respond to a baby’s grimace or gesture and not to wait till crying occurs. Young babies have difficulty stopping crying once it starts. The best advice for baby care is to sensitively follow the baby, not the experts.

8. Babies lock their experiences into procedural memory vaults that will be inaccessible but apparent in later behavior and attitudes. Babies can be toxically stressed from neglecting the list of needs above. They won’t forget. It will undermine their trust of others, their health, and social wellbeing, and lead to self-centered morality which can do much destruction to the world.

9. Culture does not erase the evolved needs babies have. Babies cannot retract their mammalian needs. Yet, some adult cultures advocate violating evolved baby needs as if they do not matter and despite the protests of the baby. Everyday violations include baby isolation like sleeping alone, “crying it out” sleep training, infant formula, or baby videos and flashcards.* When violations occur regularly, at critical time periods or are intense, they undermine optimal development. These violations are encoded in the baby’s body as the optimal development of systems is undermined (e.g., immunity, neurotransmitters, endocrine systems like oxytocin). Surprisingly, some developmental psychologists think it fine to violate these needs** in order for the child to fit into the culture.

The rationalization of “culture over biology” reflects a lack of understanding not only of human nature but of optimal development. This has occurred in laboratories with other animals whose natures were misunderstood. For example, Harry Harlow, known for his experiments with monkeys and “mother love,” at first did not realize he was raising abnormal monkeys when he isolated them in cages. Similarly, at least one of the aggressive rat strains used in lab studies today was first created when scientists isolated offspring after birth, again not realizing the abnormality of isolation. Note how the cultural assumptions of the scientists created the abnormal animals. So it matters what cultural assumptions you have.

The culture-over-biology view may be doing the same thing with human beings. By not understanding babies and their needs, we are creating species-atypical human beings. We can only know this to be the case in light of knowledge about human beings who develop under evolved conditions (the "developmental nest" described in point 1): typically, small-band hunter-gatherers. They are wiser, more perceptive and virtuous than we humans in the U.S. today (see note below).

Thus, the final point:

10. Experiences that consistently violate evolution undermine human nature. When species-atypical childrearing occurs, we end up with people whose health and sociality are compromised (which we can see all over the USA today with epidemics of depressionanxiety, high suicide and drug use rates***). Such mis-raised creatures might do all right on achievement tests or IQ measures, but they may also be dangerous reptiles whose world revolves around themselves. A lot of smart reptiles (“snakes in suits”) on Wall Street and elsewhere have been running the country into the ground.

What to do?

  1. Inform others about the needs of babies.
  2. Be aware of the needs of babies around you and interact sensitively with the babies you encounter.
  3. Support parents to be sensitive to the needs of their babies. This will also require many more institutional and social supports for families with children, including extensive parental leave which other developed nations provide. It's an uphill battle right now but raising awareness is the first step.
  4. Read and learn from books that convey the evolved principles of caregiving.

*Note that sometimes violations (e.g., formula, isolation) are required under emergency conditions that are matters of life and death. Also note: In a way, U.S. culture forces parents into these violations because there is no extended family or community support to help provide for all the many needs of a baby.

**Of course they don’t think it’s a violation because they don’t take the set of mammalian needs seriously.

***In the U.S., everyone under 50 has numerous health disadvantages compared to citizens in 16 other developed nations (National Research Council, 2013).

Note: Of course, every human community is not perfect but when you provide young children with their basic needs, they are less aggressive and self-centered. They are less preoccupied with what they want because they got all they wanted when they needed it in early life. The baby nest described above makes for a smart, healthy, well-functioning body and brain, with high emotional intelligence and self-control. They are more socially skilled and empathic toward others. All this makes getting along with others so much easier. All this will have to be explained more thoroughly in another post, citing the anthropology research that shows what people in small-band hunter-gatherer communities are like.


Related Reading by Dr. Narvaez at Peaceful Parenting: 

An 'On Demand' Life and the Basic Needs of Babies

Where Are All the Happy Babies?

The Dangers of Crying It Out

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Babies

5 Things NOT to Do to Babies

12 Ways to Nurture Babies at Conception, Birth, and Beyond

Are you treating your child like a prisoner?

Are you or your child on a touch starvation diet?

Conspiracy Thinking: Understanding Attachment and Its Consequences

Psychology Today: Circumcision Series

Learn More from Narvaez:

The Evolved Nest Institute

Kindred Media

Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom

💜 Peaceful Parenting Community

💙 Peaceful Parenting on Facebook

💗 Peaceful Parenting on Telegram

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