Disclosure: Travel for this post was paid for by Johnson and Johnson
When I was beginning my role as a mother every moment seemed to be both scary and special at the same time. Life felt so surreal and that this baby was mine to keep blew me away constantly. A world where I felt secure and powerful now had me questioning how fragile and precious life really was. Derek’s birth brought me to a stark reality of life and I knew right then why I existed. I knew then that my life on earth had a purpose and that was to be this baby’s mother. Meeting my baby for the first time I felt so alive, so scared, nervous, anxious, excited, elated, exhausted and loved. It was the absolute best day of my entire life when I went from being me just me to being someone’s mother.
Motherhood brought new meaning to my life, my family and opened me up to finding as many ways as possible to savor the special moments. I rarely put Derek down. I would sit, lay, walk, bop, sway, sing and do whatever was needed for Derek to feel loved and comforted. Taking time for quiet skin-on-skin moments daily while rocking in the glider became one of my favorite routines. He would nuzzle up on my chest and I would sing and sniff his amazing baby smell.
As time passes on and Derek, now 6, prefers quick showers to long bath times filled with singing songs and splashing bubbles, I look back on those baby moments fondly. The time in our lives when I would Derek out of a bath, wrap him up in a little hooded animal towel and gently rub lotion on his skin. I would always relish in the moments of holding him, sniffing his baby smell and thinking I NEED to take in the moments because I know when he is older he won’t want any part of this. There is just nothing like baby smell, snuggles and love.
DID YOU KNOW: Playing with bubbles helps babies develop hand-eye coordination and discover objects exist even when they can’t be seen. The bubbles also stimulate baby senses through touch and smell, which are both closely tied to memory development, and provide a great time for parent and baby to bond.
Recently, I attended an event hosted by JOHNSON’s where I learned about their research related to bath time and touch. It reminded of when my second child Hayley was born, I was readmitted to the hospital due to postpartum preeclampsia. During that time she was at home with my parents. I remember my fears that she would miss out on the formative moments and needs of skin-to-skin so I was sure to tell my mom to make time for it. The moment I returned home from the hospital I reached right for my baby, sat down and she nuzzled her little head right into chest. Those moments of reconnection between Hayley and I were some of the most important moments of my life.
JOHNSON’s has been pioneering the science and setting global standards in baby skin care for more than 120 years, providing products that are formulated and designed with baby in mind. JOHNSON’s is paving the way by advancing research that reveals the importance of multi- sensorial experiences that can lead to happy, healthy baby development; Specifically, the sense of touch. Research has shown that a world with touch between moms/caregivers with baby can lead to:
- Improved physiological, cognitive, emotional and social development
- More developed self-confidence and ability to relate to others
- Improved overall mobility
- Increased alertness and attentiveness
- Using JOHNSON’S® bath products and massaging during bath time provides the perfect opportunity to stimulate babies senses through touch.
I asked some friends to think back to when their babies were just born and to share the emotions, and feelings, that early skin-to-skin contact with their babies brought back for them
“Skin to skin contact can greatly increase the success of breastfeeding, mother and baby bonding and baby’s health. There’s a reason babies smell so good. Nothing can replace the memory of holding my new baby right up against my own body, hearts beating, breathing together, totally at peace.” Hillary from My Scraps
“I just felt so incredibly close to my kids during those early years when there was a lot of skin on skin. To have another little tiny innocent being’s super soft touch just felt so invigorating. Like the touch was showing me my purpose in life.” Cindy from Whatever Works
“Skin to Skin can be as important to a mother, as it is a baby. When I suffered a severe post-partum hemorrhage, I was going unconscious. The nurse had my husband hold my son in sight so that I would try to look at him which helped keep me awake. As soon as I was stable enough, she had them place him on me. My vitals improved significantly when we were lay skin to skin. My blood pressure and heart rate began to stabilize.” Jessica from A Southern Mother
Do you have a specific emotion or feeling that flashes back to you when you think of those very early moment of Motherhood?