1. Fall in love with your baby through a positive birthing
experience for baby, mother, and father. Then strengthen that love
by breastfeeding your child until he or she no longer needs it.1
2. Keep your baby with you as much as possible.
Separations and changing caretakers make it harder for your child to
learn trust and to grow into a loving and trusting adult.2
3. Breastfeed your baby until he or she no longer needs
it.3 Breastmilk contains immune
mechanisms which help keep your baby healthy. Any other food, even
sugar water, permanently destroys many of these important
substances. A healthy baby is a joy!
4. Share sleep with your baby. This makes nighttime
parenting easier and can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Your child's need for your presence does not magically disappear at
5. Responding quickly and compassionately to your baby's
cries, both day and night, reassures him that he is important to
you. Picking up your baby will not "spoil" him. Carrying
him increases brain cell connections. You can't love a baby too
6. Breastfeeding has many benefits for babies, and it's
also good for mothers. A nursing mother produces hormones which help
her to be patient and loving, making parenting easier.
7. Remember that punishment teaches violence, destroys
self-esteem, creates anger, interferes with learning, and damages
the relationship between parent and child. "People are not for
hitting, and kids are people too!"4
8. Allow your child's sense of trust plenty of time to
grow strong before having a new baby to claim your attention. A
three or four year spacing between children reaps enormous emotional
benefits for each child.5
9. A breastfeeding mother and her infant share sleep
cycles and dream in unison, so the mother is less likely to be
awakened by her baby during dreams or deep sleep. A refreshed mother
is a patient mother!
10. "Bad behavior" is a sign that a child's
basic needs have not been met. Remember to give your children
undivided attention, eye contact, and touching, and try to see
things from their point of view.
11. A close bond between mother and child, naturally
achieved through breastfeeding, holding, and shared sleep, is the
best prevention of child abuse.
12. The best gifts you can give your child are your time,
patience, and understanding.