6 Things Your Baby Needs From You NOW That Will Benefit Them in the Future
In collaboration with Nestlé – Start Healthy Stay Healthy.
Did you know your baby learns a lot of things from her everyday experiences? Yes, your baby is like a tiny little sponge, soaking in all the new things she witnesses and experiences. Every small and big event around her is an opportunity for her to learn, which lays the foundation for her future. So, what, as a parent, can you do to ensure the foundation is strong enough? Well, this is the time when you can start by investing your focus in developing your child’s fundamental skills, like communication, information gathering, problem-solving, etc., to make her ready for the future.
There are countless well-researched ideas on what your baby requires to be future-ready. We’ve compiled the ones that thousands of parents have sworn make all the difference!
6 Things Your Baby Needs Now That Will Benefit Her in the Future
Like most parents, it is natural to be concerned for your baby’s mental and physical development. Does she understand everything you are teaching her? Is she on the right track? These are some of the questions that might bother you from time to time. But worry not. Most parents are already equipped with everything they need to ensure their babies develop into healthy and happy adults.
However, there are little decisions, habits and concepts that have proven to help children if done in the first few years of their lives. Let’s look at what they are.
1. Spend Time Together
Spending some quality time with your little one will not only help you bond with her, but it will also help her become emotionally and mentally strong and confident. A few minutes of undivided attention every now and then during the day will also help her understand that you care for her and love her and give her security.
Studies show that bonding with your baby will not just provide emotional and mental benefits. It also stimulates hormonal activity that helps with rapid brain development. It could be as simple as cuddling your baby every day, talking and singing to her during bath time, reading to her etc. Just time with you every day will contribute to her physical, mental, and socio-emotional health in the future.
2. Set Up a Reliable and Encouraging Environment
Children learn and acquire essential life skills in their early years when their parents maintain a reliable and encouraging environment for them to grow in. They observe minute details of their surroundings and take lessons from them right from birth. The absence of a positive environment can negatively impact your little one’s speech and language development and cause anxiety. A surrounding free of chaos and loud noises will help her develop cognitive and emotional skills.
3. Engage Her in Fun Activities
By eight weeks, your baby starts listening to what you say and try to talk back in her own way. Over the first three months, she recognises objects and observes details like watching her feet and hands wave in the air. As she develops week by week, you will have to incorporate different activities into her routine. You can stroke different parts of her body and observe how she reacts and like to be touched, cuddle her a lot, make funny faces to observe how she reacts and engage with you. Speak to her in a gentle tone, say her name often, play music to her and sing along using different gestures. Investing in minimal developmentally appropriate toys can also help keep her engaged while nurturing and honing her skills.
4. Feed the Right Foods
Nutrition is not a choice at this stage but a necessity. For your child’s optimal physical and brain development, nutrient-rich foods are important. In the beginning stage of infancy, a majority of nutrients come from breast milk. Breast milk is superpower milk packed with a specific group of nutrients called phospholipids (PLs) that are essential for your child’s neural and brain development. These nutrients establish brain connections, help in key learning, develop executive functions, and are instrumental in lung development. As your baby transitions to solid foods, you’ll want to make sure she gets extra nutrients like folic acid, iron, choline, ARA, DHA, etc., found in milk, vegetables, fruits, and pulses.
5. Encourage the Right Amount of Sleep
Sleep plays a significant role in the development of children, especially infants. As your baby sleeps, her brain is still very active and continues to grow and process the day’s information. It then helps mold her observances and experiences into productive, informative bytes. Hence, the importance of sleep can’t be understated.
6. Focus on Experiences
While it might be very exciting to see your child pick up new skills or learn new words, it is important that you allow her to learn at her own pace. Offer her sensory experiences and toys and introduce her to varied environments. When she observes new things in the real world environment, she will automatically start retaining new words and skills!
Including these 6 practices in your early years with your baby will significantly increase her chances of thriving in the future. It is true that the best tools you can offer her as a parent have almost nothing to do with money. It is more about you, your love and time, your choice of words and actions and the environment she learns and grows in.