HUG Your Baby in The Netherlands


Anita Spiegels van de Ven is a pediatric nurse and lactation consultant from The Netherlands. She works in a hospital and has her own practice making home visits. The HUG helps her parents learn the behavior of their baby and understand how they can better support their child.

Marijn is a healthy, 5-month-old, breastfeeding baby. From 3 months, her parents have chosen to add eating and sleeping structure into the baby’s life as described in the book, Baby in a Dream Rhythm. The parents made this decision as the mother prepared to return to work. Mother describes Marijn as an active baby.

Because of difficulty with his sleep, the parents took Marijn to see an osteopath. The parents described that the doctor found “tension in the diaphragm.” After this osteopathic treatment Marijn seemed more settled and quiet.  Mother has taken more efforts to help calm her baby including baby massage and swaddling with one hand free. Marijn is sleeping in his own room in a crib.

When I visit this family, the mother has returned from a walk with the baby, who is asleep in the stroller. Within a few minutes there is stirring in the stroller, and Marijn moves into a quiet, awake state. The mother leans over and enjoys face-to- face time with her baby, who looks at her with wide open, bright eyes. I enjoy seeing how this mother told her baby what she was doing, such as,“Mama is going to put a clean diaper on you.”

As Marijn breastfeeds, his mother and I discuss The HUG Zones and SOSs, how to calm a baby, how to help her baby sleep well, and how to play with her baby so that he can grow and learn.


The next day I receive the following email from Marijn’s mother: “I have been searching the Internet for information about my baby. Then I found you! Your experience and positive approach was wonderful for me. You had only just left when Marijn lay in bed and fell asleep almost immediately. My husband was amazed! Now we are watching our baby and letting HIM tell us what to do! Thank you so much!