Made in God’s Image: Nurturing Your Baby's Development the Peacemaker Parenting Way

Do you have a new baby or are expecting one soon? God bless you! Parenting a baby from newborn to 12 months is a journey filled with discovery, growth, and the establishment of deep bonds. We believe the little one you’re nurturing was placed in your heart and arms intentionally, and that their soul is fully formed and worthy of respect and love from the very beginning. 

Seeing Your Baby as a Whole Person, Created by God
One of the core values, and pillars of Peacemaker Parenting™ is treating children with respect because they are created in the image of God. This can start by appreciating your newborn as an individual with their own thoughts, feelings, and preferences right from birth. 

This concept is consistent with what we see in scripture about personhood. The idea that babies are complete humans, possessing inherent dignity and worth, aligns with various Biblical teachings. Here are a few Bible verses that reflect this concept:

        1. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV): "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

          This passage emphasizes that God intimately creates each person and they are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.


        2. Genesis 1:27 (NIV): "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."

          This verse speaks to the creation of humanity in God's image, implying that from the moment of creation, every person, including babies, reflects the image of God.


        3. Job 10:8-12 (NIV): "Your hands shaped and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit."

          These verses from Job highlight God's intimate involvement in the formation of each person, reinforcing the idea of inherent value and completeness.


        4. Luke 1:41-44 (NIV): "When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.'"

          This passage describes John the Baptist recognizing and responding to the presence of Jesus, demonstrating awareness and personhood.
These verses collectively affirm the Biblical perspective that every human life, including babies, is precious, valuable, and created by God with purpose.

This perspective encourages parents to approach caregiving with empathy and respect for their baby's unique personhood. By acknowledging your baby's individuality and worthiness of respect, you can respond to their cues more effectively, fostering a strong sense of trust and security. 



Putting Peacemaker Parenting into Practice with Babies
Adopting a Peacemaker Parenting approach with infants emphasizes respecting the baby as a whole person and supporting their natural development through attentive caregiving practices. 

This might look a little different than mainstream parenting approaches, but we feel strongly that the benefits of respecting babies and caring for them with intention from their earliest days can have lasting positive impacts on both you and your baby. Here’s what Peacemaker Parenting babies can look like:

Slowing Down and Explaining Caregiving Activities
One of the most important things you can do to honor your baby’s development is to slow down the caregiving process. Instead of rushing through tasks like diaper changes or feeding, take the time to explain what you're doing to your baby. Use a soothing and normal speaking voice rather than baby talk, which helps in building language skills and treats your baby with the same respect you would offer any other person.

Allowing Natural and Autonomous Movement
Rather than assuming how babies want to move, or thinking that what “worked” at 3 days is still what they want at 3 weeks, Peacemaker Parenting encourages parents to approach their babies with curiosity and give them opportunities to explore their environment. Try to allow babies to move their bodies freely and autonomously, promoting physical development and self-awareness. Providing safe and unrestrictive spaces, such as a well-prepared play area on the floor with safe, non-over stimulating toys, allows babies to explore and learn at their own pace. Carefully observing your child will allow you to respond thoughtfully and attentively, providing support to scaffold their growth. This approach supports the development of motor skills, brain development, security, and confidence from an early age.

Responding to Communication with Curiosity
Babies' brains and abilities grow SO fast. While many people assume communication begins when their baby says their first word, or when they start crying, modern neuroscience (and attentive observation) tell us that babies can communicate from the moment they are born. Babies communicate through cries, coos, facial expressions, and body movements. Peacemaker Parenting encourages parents to honor that communication and respond to these cues with curiosity and attentiveness. By observing and interpreting your baby's signals, you can better understand their needs and emotions, strengthening your bond and building trust. 

Creating a Nurturing Environment
Creating a nurturing environment involves setting predictable routines and providing consistent, loving care. Peacemaker Parenting advocates for responding promptly to your baby's needs, whether it's hunger, discomfort, or the need for affection. All of these needs are valid and important. By meeting these needs promptly and sensitively, you help your baby feel secure and valued, promoting healthy emotional development.

Engaging in Respectful Play and Interaction
Peacemaker Parenting encourages respectful play and interaction by allowing babies to initiate activities and respecting their choices during playtime. This approach encourages parents to observe and follow their baby's lead, rather than directing activities. It fosters a sense of independence and builds confidence as babies explore their environment and interact with caregivers and peers. It also establishes the concepts of consent and bodily autonomy from the get go. 

Embracing Emotional Expression
Peacemaker Parenting encourages the expression of emotions in a safe and supportive environment. This involves validating your baby's feelings, whether they are happy, sad, frustrated, or whatever they are experiencing. Science shows us that babies are incapable of manipulating their caregivers–their cries are simply their way of communicating their needs. They are not “giving you a hard time,” they are “having a hard time.” By acknowledging and empathizing with their emotions, and honoring their needs by meeting them, you help your baby develop emotional intelligence, resilience, and secure attachment. 

Educating Yourself and Seeking Support
Parenting is a continuous learning process, especially when adopting a respectful parenting approach. Educate yourself through books, workshops, and online resources that focus on respectful parenting practices. Seek support from like-minded parents or professionals who can provide guidance and encouragement along the way. Consider joining the Flourishing Homes & Families Mentorship program for support on your parenting journey. 


Respectfully parenting a baby involves seeing your little one as a whole person created by God, honoring their autonomy, responding to their cues with empathy, and fostering a nurturing environment for their development. By embracing these principles, you can build a strong foundation of trust, respect, and love, laying the groundwork for your baby's future growth and well-being.

LEARN MORE
  • Know what to expect and anticipate when it comes to your child's development with our Peacemaker Parenting Guide to Ages + Stages