Day Four: Nervous System Regulation

Welcome to day four of our Reset program!  Today, we’ll be focusing on a crucial piece of the sleep, development and wellbeing puzzle that’s often overlooked.  That is, nervous system regulation, and specifically - co-regulation.

Understanding Co-Regulation

Co-regulation refers to the mutual influence and synchronization of emotional and physiological states.

This process is orchestrated by a delicate interplay of hormones, neural circuits, and non-verbal cues, and is the reason why we often feel so calm when we’re close to our baby, when they’re snuggled in our arms, or when they’re sleeping safely close by.

But it’s not just a warm and fuzzy feeling that we’re experiencing when all feels ‘right’ with the world and baby is dozing in our arms.  In fact, co-regulation is essential for infant development, since babies are born with a nervous system that’s not yet fully developed, so they essentially ‘borrow’ the nervous system of their primary caregiver in order to regulate autonomic bodily functions like heart rate, breathing, and digestion.

  • Stress Relief

    Co-regulation is a dynamic process that involves a continuous biological feedback loop - when we respond to baby's cues with warmth and attentiveness, stress levels decrease and physiological systems return to a state of equilibrium.

    This mutual regulation benefits both baby and mom, with moments of connection and closeness between a mom and baby acting as ‘stress buffers’ for each.

  • Settled Sleep

    Research shows us that sleep in infancy is co-regulated by caregivers, who help decrease arousal through “soothing interactions”.

    That is, via responsiveness, attunement, nurture…soothing is truly foundational for a healthy infancy.

  • Easier Bedtimes

    More than this, caregiver-infant interactions at bedtime have been shown to shape stress physiology for both parties of the co-regulating dyad, which is why our babies often settle easily in our arms, fall asleep during feeds, and instinctively call out for us when they wake in the night.

  • A Shared Nervous System

    Co-regulation is the reason behind why we often feel so much calmer, less stressed and more content when we respond to our little ones’ calls or offer soothing and comfort.

    We essentially ‘share’ our own nervous systems with out babies.

Co-regulation is a two-way street, and when we understand the biological ‘why’ behind it, it can be one of our greatest tools for building more ease and less stress into our experience of these early years.

Today's Task: Regulating the breath

Breathwork exercises can be a powerful tool for regulating the autonomic nervous system.

Today's task will walk you through an accessible version of a pranayama breathwork practise, with a view of balancing the autonomic nervous system and increasing relaxation.

Tomorrow is the final day of our program, and we'll be rounding things off with the theme of Nurture. See you then!

The 5 Day Reset

Day 1 - Connection

Click to access!

Day 2 - Attunement

Click to access!

Day 3 - Neurology

Click to access!

Day 4 - Nervous System Regulation

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Day 5 - Well-being

Goes live tomorrow!