Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely summer. It was a little rainy for my liking but the fall looks good and it is a glorious time to spend some time outdoors and get moving. We are so lucky in Cornwall that we live by a beautiful river and have walking paths that follow it through parks and trees. Soon the leaves will be displaying their wondrous beauty in yellow, red and orange leaves.
Today I would like to share with you the importance of nurturing our newborns. This may seem like an obvious statement, but there are still people who believe that you should let your child cry to not spoil them. This is an idea that is completely wrong and here is why! As we all know, babies are born basically completely helpless. It is our roles as parents and caregivers to supply what the baby needs. The first year of life is a period of tremendous growth physically, emotionally and cognitively (brain development). When our baby is born, we need to feed, clean and love our babies. We also need to ensure their safety and provide an environment where our baby can thrive. Our baby’s brain develops by interacting with its environment through all of its five senses (eyes, nose, ears, mouth and touch). Babies need stimuli to enhance their brains. This means music for their ears (classical has been proven to grow brains, not loud rock music which will damage their ears), toys to handle with their fingers and hands, interaction with adults and children (being held, talked to, and playing peek-a-boo), rocking with mommy and daddy. These are just some examples of ways we can help our babies. Caring for your baby shows them love! So when our babies cry, they should be picked up and caressed (hugged). Babies cry because they need something that we must provide. They may need a diaper changed, they may be hungry or they may be tired. It is imperative that we do not ignore a crying baby, doing this teaches them that the world is not safe. If a child does not build trust now, they will may suffer from mental health issues for the rest of their lives!
Research has shown that the time the baby is in utero and up to 2 years old, is the most important time for our babies to develop their brains and their place in the world. If they do not feel that their needs are met, they will be forever (or will need therapy), to feel safe and secure. The trust vs. mistrust stage is the first stage of psychologist Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage begins at birth and lasts until a child is around 18 months old. According to Erikson, this is the most important period of a child’s life, as it shapes their view of the world as well as their overall personality.
How do infants develop mistrust? This is when the caregiver or parent is inconsistent in feeding them, or does not comfort them when they are crying or allows the environment to become unsafe. So now you may be asking; “How do I ensure that I help develop trust in my baby?” We do this by being attentive to our baby’s needs, by comforting them when they are scared or upset and by creating a safe environment in our home.
If you would like more information on this topic, please reach out by email at email@example.com. Be sure to like my Facebook page, Brain Architects. Here you will find links to more in depth discussions about this topic. See you next month when I share info on how floor time is essential for our developing baby.