How much is too much?

Miriam, Rowan and family

Miriam, Rowan and family

The youngest attendee at The Art of Nesting Workshop this weekend was a little show stealer named Rowan. He came with his mother, Miriam, and when they first arrived, I hardly noticed the tiny face peeking out from behind the polka-dot ‘wing’ of the Nesting Days Newborn Carrier his mother was wearing.

Miriam settled herself into a comfy chair with Rowan in the carrier, where he slept peacefully for the next hour and a half, demonstrating better than any of my prepared material, what the optimal environment for a newborn looks like.

At one point one of the soon-to-be mothers asked, ‘how much is too much?’

I was relieved that I had research to back me up and could say with confidence, “it’s impossible to spoil a baby by holding or responding to their needs too much”.

In the last decade, neonatologists have come out in strong support of responding to a newborn’s cues and meeting their basic needs, but the question, “am I spoiling my baby?’ still lingers.

“A challenge of the newborn is getting to know that the world is somehow reliable and trustworthy, that his or her basic needs will be met,” says J. Kevin Nugent, director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital in Boston and a child psychologist.

“A spoiled child is one that’s manipulative, but babies don’t learn until they’re about 9 months that they can cry to get you to do something for them,” says Dr. Barbara Howard, assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health.

Spending lots of skin-to-skin time in the first 3 months in particular, provides the newborn with the sense of security it needs at this early stage of development.

Miriam and Rowan Nesting Days

Miriam and Rowan nesting in Nesting Days

The Nesting Days Newborn Carrier lets you spend the hours of skin-to-skin time your baby needs, frees up your hands so you can get a few things done, and provides the sheltered, warm nest that provides the optimal environment for the newborn birth to 3 months. It really is the ultimate mother-baby bonding experience.

Just ask baby Rowan and his mother.

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our first workshop!

Come join us for our first workshop:

Nesting Days the Art of Nesting Workshop

The Art of Nesting

Creating the optimal environment for your newborn

If you thought that the ‘nesting instinct’ was just about buying cute tiny clothes and outfitting a nursery, think again! The latest evidence-based research is placing a new importance on ‘nesting’, and it has nothing to do with what you buy and everything to do with you.

Your skin, your body, your ability to learn baby cues, your milk, your attention and how you ‘attach’. Sound scary? Fear not! It turns out Mother Nature did an amazing job preparing you for the task of nurturing your baby.

You are a remarkable nest.

In this workshop you will learn about the innate infant instincts, mommy instincts, the importance of skin-to-skin, laid back breastfeeding, and baby body language. It is an exciting time to be having a baby! It is your time! Enjoy it to the fullest. It will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Saturday, November 9th 10:30am – noon
NextSpace Potrero Hill, 365 Vermont Street, San Francisco

RSVP here on eventbrite.  All mothers, dads and babies are welcome.

Reflecting on Treasure Island and our first workshop!

I spent last week getting ready for our first public appearance after launching Nesting Days. Honestly, I needed some time to recover from the craziness of running a Kickstarter campaign and getting out all the first orders. Between the sew shop, the post office and home deliveries, I’ve had my hands full! It seemed like just the right time to get out there and meet some new families.

Getting our booth ready was a lot of work, but brought me back to the ‘making of’ stage, preparing a booth, painting, building, and figuring out the unknowns — finding sandbags, being social online, using instagram…

I woke up early Saturday and loaded up the truck–the bed was full and tied down with a rope that was too long, but we made it work. We got there and met all the other vendors, mostly small food companies and flea market usuals driving in from all over the Bay Area to set up shop. We got our little cup of vendor coffee and built up Nesting Days.

Nesting Days on Treasure Island

Nesting Days on Treasure Island

We met so many moms, pregnant women, new dads, new families, babies, grandmas, grandpas, girlfriends, cousins, aunts, uncles, and they all would see our sign and our photos, then look at our newborn carrier on the mannequin and literally point and say ‘ahhh’ or ‘wow’ or ‘how beautiful’. It was really amazing to see so many different types of people, at every stage in life, respond to Nesting Days.

Almost every single new mom grandma (especially new ones) stopped to chat and we swapped stories; each one of them was open to skin-to-skin and the power of being with your baby from day one. Some shared the fears and frustrations of their own daughters about to give birth, and how complicated it can sometimes be sharing your wisdom, while letting them be their own mother in their own way.

The Art of Nesting Workshop Saturday, October 26th

The Art of Nesting Workshop Saturday, October 26th

Which brings me to some news — Nesting Days will be hosting a series of workshops starting this month. The first will be ‘The Art of Nesting’ on Saturday, November 9th at 10:30am in our Nesting Days garden. We will hone in on what it means to rediscover the power of skin-to-skin and recreating a human nest outside the womb in the first days, weeks and months after giving birth.  RSVP by emailing me at julie@nestingdays.com.

The second workshop will be on the Mother/Daughter relationship and about how cross generational connection can enrich the relationship between mother and daughter to help the new baby come into the world with the powerful union of two generations of mothers.

This podcast is a great example of that connection — Hillary Frank has a series called ‘The Longest Shortest Time’ sharing stories about the early days of motherhood. In this episode, called ‘Nurse, get the handcuffs’  Hillary listens to her own mother share her birth story–the frustrations, fears and setbacks were all the same, but still very different.

In our experience at Treasure Island and talking about the benefits of skin-to-skin care and postpartum transition for new mothers, it was almost unanimous that these new changes, these new evidence based kinds of changes that are occurring in infant care and babywearing, are positive and long awaited for.

There wasn’t much push back, no matter how old they were, women (and men!) really do understand this, We now have the support of science, now we need the support of each other as well.

–Julie