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The importance of filling your baby’s love cup every day

‘Children need at least one person in their life who thinks the sun rises and sets on them, someone who delights in their existence and loves them unconditionally’ – Pam Leo, author of Connection Parenting.

A baby’s ‘love cup’ is a wonderful metaphor for their positive emotions. When that cup is full, they’re content and joyful, but when it’s empty, your baby might have difficulty in regulating their emotions. In other words, they’re unsettled, cranky, and clingy.

You probably know exactly what it feels like when your emotional cup is empty. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’, and babies are the same. Just like you need time for self-care, some adult conversation, and some peace and quiet occasionally, babies have emotional needs as well.

How do you fill your baby’s love cup?

The simple answer is with connection. Whether you’re a first time mum, or have other children, life is hectic with a baby. Between nappy changes, feeding, naps, housework, cooking, errands…some days you discover that you haven’t had much of an opportunity for real connection.

Fitting in some precious one-on-one time each day where you truly connect with your baby, cuddling, laughing, playing, and just slowing down and doing what they enjoy will fill both of your love cups and strengthen your bond.

Why is it important to fill their love cup?

‘Human beings also have a biological and emotional need for human connection. When that need is not met, we survive but we do not thrive’ (Pam Leo). Just like your baby has a minimum daily requirement of nutrients, they have a minimum daily requirement of connection to thrive.

You’re already so busy, and probably wondering how you can squeeze anything else into your day. However, the positives outweigh the negatives if you can spend at least ten minutes a day playing with your little one. It’s more about quality time, rather than quantity.

Giving your baby your undivided attention for even short periods makes your baby feel loved, noticed, and valued. Children learn from us what to believe about themselves, and how we treat them determines whether they have healthy or unhealthy self-worth and self-esteem.

A baby who feels loved is calmer, sleeps better (if they haven’t had quality time with you during the day, they just might request it during the night. Sound familiar?), and is more easy going. They crave and need physical touch, so this should be a big part of your special moments of connection. After all, who doesn’t love baby snuggles!

Ideas to fill your baby’s cup

Here are 10 little things you can do with your baby that mean a lot to them:

  • Touching and cuddling
  • Playing peek-a-boo
  • Singing songs
  • Looking your baby in the eyes and making different facial expressions
  • Reading to them
  • Talking to them in a soothing tone
  • Sitting and listening to music together
  • Going for a walk and chatting about the surroundings
  • Baby massage
  • Sharing a bath with them

 

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