In the first years of their lives, for both of my children, I used baby signing. With Chatterbox in particular, it worked wonders. She developed speech early, and was able to tell me what she wanted long before she could form the words.
Therefore, I was fascinated by the idea that we can understand our babies almost from the moment they are born using a new technique observed by Vivien Sabel based on her experiences as a mother. The Blossom Method was developed by Vivien through her time with her daughter blossom, and her heritage as a child born of a deaf mother.
Vivien’s relationship with mother taught her to be uniquely tuned to the body language and movements of others. These signs had always helped her to understand her mother better. So naturally, when Blossom was born, she used the same observation to determine what Blossom needed. She was, in fact, surprised to learn from other mothers that they were not tuning into their babies in the same way.
The Blossom Method encourages carers to use a three step method to help you communicate with your baby from day one:
- Observe: watch you baby’s facial expressions and body language closely, e.g. tongue moving in and out of the mouth
- Mirror: copy those actions so your baby knows you are listening, e.g. repeat her tongue movements to her, and watch her repeat them again back to you
- Respond: having determined what your baby wants, respond by fulfilling their needs e.g. providing a feed.
Signs include tongue movements, mouth shape, facial expressions and leg or arm gestures. Some signs are common amongst most babies, with minor differences, while others are unique to your baby. The method particularly refers to a baby’s use of tongue talking to get their messages across to their carers.
I was deeply disappointed that I was not able to test out the suggestions in the book as my two children are far too old. However, I do recall clearly that some of the tongue talking mentioned is extremely accurate. Both my son and daughter used their tongues to tell me of their hunger and satisfaction before and after a feed. With my son, the reflux he suffered was obvious to me as a second time mum from his painful facial expressions and body language. These signals were a key reason why I persevered in getting a positive diagnosis and a doctor ended up covered in regurgitated milk!
The Blossom Method is a fascinating book, and one of the few baby books for mums that encourages you to work with your baby to determine what fits with them and you. My experience of reading before my children was born was not a positive one; the books I chose made me feel inadequate after my children’s birth. The Blossom Method is designed to be used as a guide, and you take on board as much or as little as is suitable for you and your lifestyle. Vivien has written it in such a way as to show clearly what you are looking for in your baby, but without giving you the impression that if this doesn’t work for you, you are a failure.
I strongly recommend expectant mums to add this to their reading list. The method has more chance of success if the mother is familiar with it before their child is born. However, if you don’t pick up the signals, don’t worry; just enjoy the sights and smells of your new baby with no added pressures.
This book was provided for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own, naturally though.