Security for Foster Babies
Taking in foster babies can be a difficult transition for both foster parent and baby. It is extremely important to understand what kind of homes these babies have come from and what you need to be sure to address, both medically and emotionally, based on their specific situation. One thing that ALL foster babies need is to feel secure and loved.
One myth with fostering is that foster parents should not try forming too strong of a bond with their foster children since that is their biological parent’s place. It is their place BUT while the child is in the foster home, the bond a baby needs can’t be truly formed with an hour or two long visitation every week. Regardless of who it is with, a baby needs to feel a bond with their primary caregiver to mature physically, socially, and emotionally.
Holding your foster baby close is one sure way to bond. I choose the technique of babywearing. These babies have been through so much already, they just want to feel safe and secure. Babywearing gives them that closeness they need.
Having a routine helps even a newborn to not feel the fear of the unexpected. They have had enough unexpected situations in their short time here on earth. Imagine being in a home (typically a pretty chaotic situation) and then being in a stranger’s home all without being able to talk and fully understand what has happened. A routine can be calming and can help keep a baby (or a child) from battling anxiety.
When we began fostering, we had to complete the MAPPS classes in order to be licensed foster parents. In those classes, we were told that every time a child moves homes, they regress socially and emotionally by SIX months. That is one of the many reasons you will often see behavioral problems in foster children.
Swaddling and Pacifiers
We have found that swaddling really helps with newborn foster children. We also find a pacifier can be very soothing, especially to a foster baby.
On the exact day, our last foster baby was placed in our care, I received an email from a company called WubbaNub who was asking if I would be interested in reviewing their pacifiers. A pacifier is a pacifier, right? WRONG. A few months ago, we had a newborn placed in our care. She wanted her pacifier but seemed to never be able to keep it in her mouth. I would have to hold my hand over her pacifier.
We received the WubbaNub pacifiers in the mail. They are so stinking cute. Cute isn’t the only thing. They are so helpful!!! Sure, he still knocks the pacifier out of his mouth. Although, at eight weeks old, he is able to hold the little stuffed animal on the pacifier and push it back in his own mouth. We get compliments everywhere we go on how cute the baby is. The next compliment is always about how cute his pacifier is!
WubbaNub uses a silicone pacifier that is shaped to help keep the baby’s natural development of their palate, teeth, and gums with its collapsible and symmetrical nipple. Since it is made from latex-free, medical-grade silicone, it is safe for even children with allergies to latex. The WubbaNub pacifiers are for children between the ages of 0-6 months old.
However you choose to foster your new baby, love, safety, and security are going to be your top three needs to provide. Kudos to you for loving these little ones who got caught in the crossfire of their parent’s choices! It hurts to love and let go but loving children in this aspect, the correct way, hurt but is so rewarding all at the same time!