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Learn to nurture your child, to hold it and spend the first days together effectively

Aware of our care, intervention, and relationship we fully activate the given human development capacity, which enables the child to develop fully and healthy. 

A young person develops through experiences. Your palms are the baby's window to the world and allow the proper functionality of life force. Learn how you can support your baby's development with the right support and care. 

It is important how attentively you care for and love your baby. It often happens that we feel love, but we don't know how to express it to the child with our body, i.e. how to show it. The grip is often unnecessarily stiff, the fingers tighten, and emit insecurity and fear, regardless of the fact that we only feel love for the baby. The baby needs to activate its development through our hands and grasping, as well as to feel love and care. 

With the help of the RFP® (a Slovenian acronym for: Developmental Functional Approaches of Pedokinetika) steps, we can harmonize the needs of the child with the manner of our preferred behavior. By conscientiously using RFP®, we can significantly activate the child’s developmental capacity in the relationship with our child. 

The basic 10 steps of RFP® to support care, which is a prerequisite for a healthy touch and developing relationship with the child: 

  1. Open, soft and firm palms that hold and do not squeeze. 
  2. Fingers are willing and direct without squeezing. They recognize the directions of movement and direct themselves. 
  3. We make movements with the whole body, not just with the hands. We include the whole body and start moving in our pelvis, we move the child in circular motions and distinguish changes in the center of gravity. 
  4. We are attentive and react to breathing. 
  5. We make soft movements with the body that are decisive and each time start from our pelvis. 
  6. By moving the support, we slide our palms over the child and provide support with an open palm. 
  7. The child's nose always looks in the direction of the ground and 45° left or right. 
  8. We differentiate the pace of movement and adapt it to the child's relaxation reaction (when lowering the center of gravity, the child relaxes the body downwards and does not tighten the body at the same time) and active lifting (when the child willingly raises the body and does not tighten it). 
  9. We swing with our knees down in different rhythms and offer breaks so that the child reacts by relaxing. Imagine standing with your feet in a grape vat where you are squeezing the juice. We press unevenly and primarily with different weights. 
  10. We rock the child and don't shake it. Rocking means getting down on our knees and letting the rocking lift us up. The swing lasts differently in different directions. Arms hug and move in response to movement in the knees and pelvis. We never make a movement with just our hands. 

In this way, the child: 

  • notices boundaries within themselves - shape the feelings and meaning of existence within themselves; 
  • organizes strategies for the protection and control of its work; 
  • increases internal motivation and self-activation; 
  • regulates muscle tone; 
  • establishes a neutral position of the skeleton and activates its task of stabilization and support; 
  • opens a free path to the development capacity that only in this way they can understand the dynamics of the maturation process development forces. 

How do we lift a baby on our shoulders? 

1. photo – Hug, not squeeze 

We don't grab a child with our fingers. We tell the child to turn around and accept them with an open palm and only then hug them. 

2. photo – Turning into a hug with the palms 

We stimulate the baby to move by gently putting our hands on the child's pelvis. Only when the body willingly turns, do we hug the torso. 

3. photo – Soft turned palms 

We play in the directions of movement and willingly redirect the movement. In this way, the child participates in a relaxed manner and uses only the appropriate muscle contractions for movement. 

4. photo – Support that activates 

Movement from the parent's pelvis enables the child's inner peace and sense of security. Activated support is clearly demonstrated by the child spreading their fingers and establishing their own control of standing up and maintaining a stable position. The position is useful for establishing proper activation of the body’s flexors and extensors. For burping, for keeping an eye on the world. For falling asleep. 

Oh, but what about the head? 

To develop head stability it is not necessary to hold it with conscious support and a well-established RFP®. The purpose and function of the head is not to rest. It is necessary to be careful and take care of the development of the cervical vertebrae function. By supporting the head while moving in straight directions and with the child's nose pointed at the ceiling, we are not providing healthy support. We are just assuring ourselves that we have safely put the baby down.  

Any position of the head above the shoulders and pelvis, activates unhealthy patterns of maintaining stability and functioning. The control function of the head is impoverished in that case. When there are too many such holds during the day, we create too many unhealthy patterns compared to the necessary experiences for healthy development. With this, we direct the child into a rigid stance and do not activate developmental potentials, but initiate the development of reduced combinations of muscle tone regulation and dysfunctional setting of a stable skeletal task. 

However, it is never allowed under any circumstances to lift a child upright without holding the head. A completely safe and anatomically developing position is when the child's nose points at the floor. It hangs down. With good support of the body with the palms and favorable directions of movement. 

Aware of our care, intervention and relationship, as well as by consciously following the RFP®, we fully activate the given human development capacity, which enables the child to develop fully and healthy. 

Andreja Semolic 

Developmental founder of Pedokinetika®