Your baby is experiencing an exciting new world but sometimes it may be over stimulating, or too much for your baby to handle. Babies will need breaks from simple things like looking at objects and faces, playtime and noisy places. Although your baby loves interacting with you and others, they need breaks, to rest and calm themselves. 


Babies will let you know they need a break by doing things like turning away from you, arching their back or crying. It is important to recognize what baby is trying to tell you and to give them the breaks they need. It is important for baby to be comforted in quiet and calm environments. This will help them to rest and prepare for the next exciting moment with you!


When your baby has had enough play

Brain Science for Your Baby


In the 1950's people believed that babies were born as "blank slates", and that infant development depended on the babies' home and experiences (environment). While the babies' environment is really important, anyone who has had more than one baby knows that they aren't the same at birth!  In the 1970's Thomas and Chess showed us that infants begin to express themselves as individuals from the time of birth.  They are born into this world with different "temperaments" or "styles" of behavior.  We now know that some babies (as many as 1 out of 5) tend to be "behaviorally inhibited." As infants, they may respond with lots of fussiness, crying, or avoidance when exposed to new people or places, or too many things at once.  Behaviorally inhibited babies (and children) seem to have an over-active amygdala -which is the part of the brain that says "danger!" (Edgar and Fox, 2005).  Thomas and Chess also introduced the idea of "goodness-of-fit" which finds that babies do better when parents respond in a sensitive manner to the baby's cues. So if your baby is one of those who seems to need more breaks, make sure that you give them!


Infant temperament

The science of emotion

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

Think about situations where your baby might become overstimulated such as:


Being at a party or in a noisy environment


After being held for a long time or by lots of people


During a prolonged play time


Watch for baby's cues of over stimulation such as:


Looking away from you


Arching back


Crying or fussiness


Help baby to calm by giving baby a break. You might try the following:


Removing baby from noisy environment or an over stimulating interaction


Bringing baby to a quiet space


Swaddling or gently rocking baby


Talking calmly or softly to baby

Playing soft music

A baby Buffer Prescription for You   



Talk to your doctor about a healthy diet, sleep and exercise program for you. When you take care of yourself, you are best able to take care of your baby!


Trust yourself to know what your baby needs and make sure that you make his needs a priority. As the parent, it's OK for you to let company know that your baby needs a break.  


Spend some time observing your baby and recognizing his moods and signals to you.  You will be surprised at how much you already understand about his moods and temperament. 




What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Your baby will love being held and touched by you from the very beginning, this is the beginning of your relationship with your baby. Click on the links below to find out what your baby should be able to do:

Gene's Research Tip!

What does spanking do?  It can surprise, scare and hurt.  Sometimes it does all three, other times only one of the three, and if used a lot, spanking may become totally ineffective.  Parents often think it worked, if the child stops the activity, but many young infants and toddlers will go back to the activity quickly. Infants and toddlers aren't ready for understanding why someone hits them.  Many parents think hitting should be enough for the child to "learn" not to repeat the activity, but that isn't how the infant brain always works.  The infant brain can learn to be afraid and untrusting, and one response is to cry and to become aggressive by hitting back, or using fast, angry movements.  This may be the reason more of the infants that were hit in the first year of life "learned" to be angry and aggressive as older kids. Read More

Baby Buffer Blog
Written by Barbara Unell, Author

Is there anything more amazing than a baby's gurgles, coos or moves?  Those coos and babble are the sounds of her repeating back the sounds she hears. They are a vital part of your baby's language development and are the beginnings of her first words.

Help your baby grow in her ability to talk by lovingly talking right back to her. When she says the sounds "Oooo" or "aaaah", for example, gently coo them back at her so she can hear you say the sounds she's making.


Research studies tell us that everything we say to our baby matters-simply repeating her "coos" back to her and more.  It has been shown that it is important for us to use words-talk in sentences-when we respond to those sounds that our baby makes. The more we talk to our baby, the better. Read More

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