Celebrate a Victory! Article from Nicole Frens, Certified HUG Teacher is Fresh off the Press! This article was published in the Estes Park Trail Gazette on (Friday September 2nd).
"Understanding newborn behavior and knowing how to soothe a newborn are keys to confident parenting. Nicole Frens recently became certified with the HUG Your Baby organization (Help, Understanding, Guidance for young families) and is offering classes through the hospital. HUG Your Baby is a program to help parents of infants learn how to read their baby’s cues and know how best to respond. All babies are unique, and this program teaches how to understand a baby’s special ways, giving parents critical skills on how to establish good feeding and sleeping habits for their baby, how to soothe their baby, and how to play with and appreciate their baby’s talents and abilities from the day they’re born.
“It was sort of like a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup situation,” Nicole says, “I was taking continuing education classes to keep up with my Lamaze certification and ran across one study that showed what parents wish they’d learned in their childbirth education class – they wanted more info on being a parent. That made sense to me. Giving birth, though a very important time that can set you up for confident parenting, or not so much, only lasts for about one day. Parenting itself? Guh. Buh buh buh buh,” laughs the mom of 4 and 6 year old kids. “Then I read about the HUG program, which had all of this amazing “Geez I wished I’d known all that when my kids were infants” type information, and I thought to myself “there it is! The Answer!” I put the two ideas together, realized it had to be and got myself certified with HUG. I’ve made teaching about parenting a much bigger focus in my childbirth classes ever since.”
A fan of The Happiest Baby on the Block (HBB) methods for soothing a baby, Nicole says that the HUG program dovetails with it perfectly, providing a much broader insight about newborn behavior. “When I teach the HUG information, I also teach the 5 S’s (from HBB). My sanity was saved with the 5 S’s when my oldest was an infant, I can only imagine how much better off I would have been if I’d known the HUG information, too!”
One of the more amusing bits of information Nicole learned while training with HUG was about the ‘fencing pose’. Newborns will sometimes bend one arm and one leg while extending the other arm out straight (looking like they’re holding a sword perhaps) and looking down that arm. That’s the ‘you’re stressing me out –stop it with whatever you’re doing right now!’ pose. Looking back over her kids’ baby pictures she found evidence of the fencing pose and remembers that that particular photo session ended in a total meltdown. And all along her baby had been ‘telling’ her to stop. “Babies try to soothe themselves in ways that aren’t obvious to us,” Nicole says. “Personally, I’ve tried the fencing pose and it does nothing for me,” she jokes, “but recognizing when your baby is trying to soothe himself – and helping him accomplish that – can be the difference between a 20 minute crying jag, and peace and harmony.”
Nicole teaches free New Pregnancy classes every third Saturday of the month, and free Childbirth Education classes at the hospital and includes the ‘understanding and soothing your newborn’ information on the last day of the childbirth series. However anyone is invited to attend that particular class for $30. The next HUG class, which includes the Happiest Baby on the Block info and baby wearing advice and practice (slings / Bjorn) will be on Wednesday September 7th from 5:30-8:30pm. Contact Nicole if you plan to attend by emailing her at NFrens@epMedCenter.com."
See another view on Happiest Baby vs HUG Your Baby