"The first real choice a human baby must make is whether to
trust or mistrust other humans. This basic trust-versus-mistrust
stage is the first building block upon which all later love
relationships are formed."
- Dr. Ken Magid
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 much!
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
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.