Soothing Your Baby (Part 1)

VIDEO | 03:00

Senior dance movement therapist Suzi Tortora explains breathing techniques to practice before interacting with your baby.

Show transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Suzi Tortora, Senior Dance Movement Therapist at Integrative Medicine, MSK Kids. I'm here today to teach you a method I created called ‘Layering the Senses.’ How to use movement and dance activities to engage and soothe your baby. But first, I want to focus on you. How you present yourself through your nonverbal body actions will very much be picked up and read from your baby. And so let's take a moment to notice your breath, your style of breathing. Breath awareness is an easy one to really tune into. And as I have you do this, I want you also to not worry about how deeply you relax and calm yourself through your breath. Any shift from a more active state to a calmer, more regulated state is helpful.

So let's start by just noticing the natural flow of your inhale as you breathe in and the exhale, letting your breath out. Notice how long you breathe in, count to the moment. Do you have a pause between the inhale and the exhale? And how long is your exhale, you might have a pause there as well. Now the trick to soothing and calming your own body is very simple. You just need to make sure your exhale is maybe one or two counts longer than your inhale and you will automatically start to soothe your body and put your nervous system into a calmer state.

So let's try by counting, inhaling for three and exhaling for four. Okay, make yourself comfortable standing or sitting and let's try bring breathing in 1, 2, 3 and letting your breath out 1, 2, 3, 4. Let's try that again. Inhaling and exhaling. Try that just a few times. Feeling your body up as you breathe in and letting your body come back to center as you exhale. Do you notice what I call the essence in the air? Do you notice just a subtle shift? That's a great place to be in before you approach your baby.