from The Incarnating Child by Joan Salter

copyright © 1987 Joan Salter

Hawthorn Press, Hawthorn House, 1 Lansdown Lane, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1BJ UK


Let us [...] start by considering the first six weeks; that is, the first forty days after birth. Another transition has taken place. [...] The baby has come from the water element of the uterus to the air and earth elements of the world. This calls for a period of adjustment. The child must be given opportunity to adapt to the new conditions. Exposure to the world's rush and bustle must be avoided.


Therefore, one of the most important needs during the first six weeks, is a protective environment.


An old intuitive wisdom knew this, and in some cultures, after birth, mother and child were shielded from intrusion for the first six weeks by placing a small leafy branch over the front door. Friends and neighbours knew that this meant 'no disturbances please'.


In our modern life, with all its demands, how can this be achieved?


During the early weeks, the baby should be kept indoors as much as possible in a well-ventilated room and warm room. The blue and pink veils  [...] should be placed on top of the other over the crook of the bassinet and draped over the basket, making sure there is adequate ventilation. [...]the mauve-pink colour breaks the world's sharp contours and has a soothing effect on the child.


Trips in the car, bus or tram should be as few as possible (ask Father to do the weekend shopping!); the noise, rush and bustle of supermarkets, busy shopping streets, traffic and large gatherings of people should be avoided at all costs.


The noise of the Hoover [vacuum cleaner], blender, washing machine, and similar household appliances is far too disturbing, and the worst offender is television. Mechanical sounds such as radio and taped music are better avoided in the early weeks and months. The best music for this age is a softly played lyre or flute; and lullabies, sung by mothers and grandmothers down the ages, have a timeless value.