Heavily pregnant, on Pakiri Beach, New Zealand

Heavily pregnant, on Pakiri Beach, New Zealand

Instinctive parenting: is it an art or science? To parent instinctively means being in tune with your body and that of your baby/child. Is this an art or a science? Actually, it’s both.

There’s an art to listening to your heart and the way your baby communicates with you, rather than listening to the call of our culture which rewards mother and child separation. An artist must believe in their calling; their life’s work.

Each day they must develop skills and build upon their talent. A bonded mother instinctively knows what is best for her family in the same way an artist knows which colour or shade works for his creation.

The science of instinctive parenting shows that, as mammals, we’re meant to nurture our offspring biologically, at the breast, for at least the first few years of life.

Nature designed us to carry our helpless infants throughout the day until they’re ready to begin crawling. By carrying them against our bodies throughout the day, their muscles work against ours; this helps them to become strong as well as offering them the chance to discharge some of their own energy. It builds their immune system, as well as encouraging healthy brain development when they have a regular ‘face’ to engage with throughout the day.

As mammals, we’re designed to sleep with our babies rather than place them behind bars and away from us.

When science and art meet seamlessly we call this conscious, connected parenting.

The needs of modern babies are exactly the same as those born in the Stone Age:
[] to be birthed peacefully, gently and in private, with natural smells and muffled noises
[] to be held by the mother, and hear her heartbeat immediately after birth
[] to be breastfed, on cue, full term
[] to be carried throughout the day
[] to be slept with at night so the mother’s and baby’s heartbeat and breathing can synchronise
[] to be actively part of family/community life
[] to live in the natural ‘field’ rather than the modern-day electro-magnetic one of wi-fi, electrical equipment, computers, mobile phones, etc.
[] To be connected to Nature
It’s understood that human babies are born about nine months ‘early’, which means they need the first nine months of life ‘in-arms’ to provide an optimal external gestation. The in-utero needs of warmth, movement, food and connection are now met by being carried all day, slept with at night, breastfed on cue (not demand), and by the mother living her life. Constant caregiving by the mother should ensure that all needs of the baby are met almost instantly. The fields of science, anthropology and medicine recognise that this traditional way of nurturing babies is best for short and long-term physical, emotional and psychological health and well-being. This is commonly known as attachment parenting, but is more suitably described as intact parenting.

The needs of our growing children and teenagers are the same as those of Stone Age children:

[] To live in awe and celebration of the natural world
[] to climb trees, swim in lakes, cross rivers, climb rocks and hills, see the sunrise and sunset, the Moon, stars and visible planets
[] to eat natural, living wholefoods and drinks
[] to exercise all muscles of the body every day
[] to understand survival skills
[] to feel the Sun, rain and earth on their skin

Their bodies were never designed, and haven’t adapted to, sitting for hours on Facebook, ipads, iphones and YouTube, and eating deadened processed foods and drinks.

Do parents who wish to raise their children in a more natural way to the mainstream face an impossible task? Only if they let culture pull them away from their art and from Nature’s science.