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Can you discipline a newborn?

by | Dec 17, 2018 | Gentle Parenting

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(This post was originally published as an email to The Moving Mama Email List. To get first access to tips, inspiration and free stuff sign up here.)

Hey there friend, how are you doing? Does it feel like a cool fall day where you are?

A lot of the mamas in our little community are expecting new babies very soon – congratulations to you! And many others already have little babies…or their little babies are just a bit bigger now 😉

Lately I have been immersing myself with information about Gentle Parenting.

Early childhood education is both my passion and profession, but ever since my college days discipline has always been my favourite and strongest topic within the field. This week I read the book The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD. and it really helped me to better understand how children develop, as well as affirm some beliefs I already had.

Gentle Parenting is an amazing approach to parenting, and you can read about it here.

Did you know discipline means TO TEACH?

It doesn’t mean to punish or force obedience upon. I believe as parents we have the responsibility to teach our children how to process their emotions, work with others, conduct themselves properly in society, etc. I think this can be achieved in a positive way, without constant ongoing stress or battles for control, and it all starts with our own attitude.

Do you want to be a positive parent? One who handles their children gently and guides them gracefully through life?

Here is how you can start, even if you have a newborn.

Start considering the words you say.

Even with your newborn start to be intentional about the words you say. My daughter is now 13 months and I am trying to be very intentional with my words with her but sometimes my automatic reaction isn’t the best thing for her to hear.

Work on your automatic reaction.

It may seem silly, but we can start to develop automatic reactions that later will contribute to an overall negative energy from us. Do we really want to spend the next 18 years constantly saying, “No!” “Stop!” “Don’t!”? Probably not.

Our automatic reaction to something our child does that we don’t like should be a reaction that responds to their feelings, redirects if needed, and loves them.

When your newborn is crying non-stop instead of saying, “Stop crying,” you could say, “I know you are really tired, and I am here for you.”

These words might not really be for our newborn’s sake in that moment, but it will help us to slowly develop a natural automatic reaction that responds lovingly and not with annoyance. Also, it can help you to stay calm when you patience is being tested.

Below you can download my positive parenting phrases, these helpful phrases are good to start learning now and they will become your automatic reaction to your child’s behaviour.

Right now the “discipline” we are starting with our newborn is actually for ourselves.

First we need to teach ourselves to be positive moms with gentle responses. But it’s not easy, so we could use all the practice we can get even with a newborn. Adjusting your mindset to a positive one will be very important as your newborn enters the toddler years where they will desperately seek more independence and power over their life. Prepare your self now.

Are you interested in more about being a positive, gentle parent? Hit reply and let’s talk. Child discipline is my specialty, and sometimes as a mom we just need someone to bounce thoughts off of.

Have a wonderful day my friend!


The Moving Mama

The Moving Mama

Lizzy Mash is an experienced early childhood educator now living in Africa as a missionary working with children and families.

She teaches Christian moms how to take a more respectful and Christ-like approach to motherhood by using Gentle Parenting strategies.

Read more about Lizzy here >>


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