Malaysia: Mothers, Fathers and Babies Get The HUG!

Today I meet with expectant couples--and mothers and fathers with their young babies--in a packed education room at KPJ Hospital, Klang, Malaysia. All are eager to learn how to become the good parents they want to be.

I review the key components of HUG Your Baby: recognizing what "Zone" a baby is in and when a "baby sends out an SOS-Sign of Over-Stimulation". Parents hear about the "Resting, Ready and Rebooting Zones" and learn to recognize when a baby sends out body SOSs (with changes in baby's movement, breathing, and color) or behavioral SOSs: "Spacing Off" (looking into space), "Switching Off" (looking away from parents), and "Shutting Down" (getting more drowsy).

The most exciting time of the day for me is a "hands-on" HUG for babies in the audience. Parents stand in line to allow their baby to be a "Super Star and Model Baby"! (See certificate below.) One baby demonstrates a remarkable example of Deep Sleep, while another demonstrates the transition from Deep Sleep to Active/Light Sleep.

One baby enters the Rebooting Zone, only then to show us how he can begin to calm down by hearing my sing-song voice.

A two-week-old baby demonstrates her ability to to turn her head toward my voice before "Switching Off" (by turning away from my talking face).

A father observes the "Deep Sleep" Zone while hearing about the special skills babies can learn from an engaged father.

A baby who is two months old demonstrates his developing motor skills as he tucks in his chin so that he can hold his head midline and gaze at me.

"Babies can be our greatest teachers," I say, as I once again discuss the remarkable capabilities of a newborn. Parents in Klang, Malaysia, today not only enjoy the satisfaction of sharing their adorable babies with an appreciative audience. They also see how ready babies are to communicate with their loving and attentive families.