Being a good parent is a full-time job, starting when you first find out you’re expecting. Beginning a new life with a baby can be an exciting time, and it’s a period where you go through immense changes. However, it’s essential to recognize the importance of early childhood development for your child. It is an incredibly vulnerable period for your baby, who’s forming some of the habits that they’ll continue for years to come. Furthermore, it’s a crucial developmental period, where even things you deem inconsequential can affect your baby immensely. Therefore, parents need to make educated decisions regarding their children in these early years to ensure they can lead a healthy, fulfilling life. If you’re intrigued to discover more about how you can raise a healthy, happy child, keep reading below.
Pay close attention to the developmental stages
Education is the first step to ensuring you can do right by your child and ensure they cover all of their cognitive and physical milestones. If you don’t know what milestones your child should achieve by a certain age, you won’t be able to spot any abnormalities and treat them. First, it’s essential to consider the physical milestones. You should support your child as they start learning motor control and as they increase their coordination.
Furthermore, it would be best to focus on following the cognitive development of your children. It can include assessing their visual and spatial development, hearing, perception, language, and more. While it’s common for there to be some delays in some children, if you notice that your child has prolonged delays, it may be a sign of something more serious. Monitoring the child development stages can help you better understand how to deal with your child in the initial five years of their lives. When you follow these stages closely, you can nurture, protect, and support your child every step of the way.
Live in the present
Parents often worry about the future and neglect to notice the time flying by in front of their eyes. However, the early periods of your child’s life are when they need you the most, and if you neglect them, you may later regret it immensely. So, while it’s essential to prepare for the future, you also need to focus on enjoying the time you have with your child. Simultaneously, it’s vital to make your child understand the importance of working for the future.
Bonding with your child starts early in life. Maternal bonding is one of the most potent determinants of resilience and mental health later in life. If you fail to connect with your child in the early part of life, they may suffer from lower levels of mental health later in life. So, it’s crucial to find different ways to bond with your child. It can include reading, playing, or simply being present in their lives and supporting them.
Enforce an early bedtime
A huge yet most common mistake that new parents make is delaying their child’s bedtime and letting them stay up at odd hours. Of course, it so happens that children are often at their most hyper when it’s time to sleep. However, letting them stay up late isn’t doing them any favors. Sleep deprivation in kids can affect them profoundly and can lead to emotional and behavioral issues. If your child is getting less sleep, they might be irritable and might have eating problems too.
It can be challenging to set a sleeping schedule for kids, but you can do it with a bit of perseverance. One of the most helpful things is wearing down your kids an hour or so before it’s time to sleep. Then, you can engage them in any exerting activity that tires them out. Once they’re low on energy, they’ll be much more receptive to bedtime. Secondly, you need to make bedtime an enjoyable time for them. For example, you can read their favorite stories to them or spend some time bonding. Finally, it’s vital to ensure that there are no gadgets nearby, which can whisk all the sleep away by messing with your child’s melatonin levels.
Get your kids used to fresh food
It’s all too easy to resort to feeding your kids takeaway, especially if you’re a working parent. However, this is one of the worst habits to reinforce in your kids and can affect them immensely over the years. Eating greasy, sugary, carb-rich food isn’t healthy for anyone, and especially not the kids. It can cause obesity, tooth decay, atopy, addiction, lethargy, and sleep disturbances, to name a few issues. So, while the occasional fast-food trip won’t hurt, it’s essential to ensure your kids enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals better.
Often, when kids reject a new fruit or vegetable, it’s not because they don’t like it, but because they’re unfamiliar with it. If you introduce the same healthy foods to your kids regularly, they’re likely to start enjoying them. Furthermore, healthy food doesn’t need to mean tasteless meals. There are some amazingly healthy, delicious recipes designed to appeal to kids, changing their eating habits. Eating clean can keep your kids healthy and help them develop immensely, as they get all the nutrients they need.
Vaccinate when it’s time
In the first few years, children will need many vaccinations to keep them safe from several contagious diseases. Unfortunately, many parents often delay the vaccinations because of misleading information or the sheer number of vaccinations. However, you mustn’t cause any delays, or you may affect the efficacy of the vaccine.
Children’s vaccination schedules are designed concerning their developmental stages. Children get their vaccination shots when their immune system is the most receptive. Therefore, you need to ensure your kids get all their vaccinations on time to live a healthy, vigorous life. If you delay the vaccinations, not only do you endanger your kids, but you put others at risk too. There’s no knowing who may be immunocompromised, so each parent needs to do their duty to ensure the safety of the community’s kids.
Parenting can seem like an exciting yet incredibly daunting journey for new parents. There can be a million things to consider to ensure your kids develop well. However, after some trial and error, you will be on the path to providing your child a healthy life. Additionally, the most crucial thing is to give your child the love, understanding, and support they deserve and encourage them to be the best version of themselves.