Parents instinctively know that the first few weeks of their child’s life are essential. But why is this the case? Why do those early days and months matter so much to development years in the future? After all, babies can barely perceive the world after they come out of the womb.
It All Comes Down To Protection And Stress
Being a great mama is essential during the first few weeks of life, but it is not always for the reasons that you think. It’s not just about providing the basics, like food and shelter. It is also about offering emotional support that allows the child to develop a robust and confident character.
Being there for your infant, therefore, is the most important thing that you can do.
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Scientists believe that the reason the first few weeks are critical all comes down to the biology of survival. Infants born during times of hardship need to develop differently from those who grow up in times of plenty. If babies detect that the outside world is a scary and hostile place, then their bodies will ramp up the production of stress hormones. They’ll go into rapid growth mode, trying to get as big and as strong as they can as fast as possible to deal with any potential threats. The problem is that this doesn’t switch off later in life, leading to both mental and physical health problems down the road.
Babies that experience warmth, care, and tenderness, however, won’t go through this process. Their emotional and physical development will continue at the regular rate, and they’re much more likely to avoid serious behavioral disturbances in the future.
So what does that look like in practice?
Bond As Much As You Can With Your Child
Essentially, it means bonding as much as you can with your child during those first few weeks. Ideally, you want to spend all the time possible with the baby, only leaving them for short periods.
You also want to ensure that you breastfeed if you can, as this helps to cement the mother-child bond in a powerful way. The question: “can you breastfeed with implants?” comes up a lot. The good news is that you usually can, so long as you use the proper techniques.
Many women return to work before their child is three months old. The data suggest that this is too young – babies need more nurturing than that. Ideally, you want to prioritize the first three years. Many parenting experts strongly believe that “more is more.” If you can dedicate additional time to your child while your partner goes out to work, then that’s a good thing.
We Need A Change In Policy
If we want to bring healthy, confident, and happy people into the world, we need a change in parenting practices and economic policies. Companies need to recognize that parenting is critical for supplying them with quality workers in the future. And the government too must see that families should be at home, caring for children during their formative years. It is a long-term investment, but it invariably pays off.
The first few weeks of your child’s life are critical. Don’t let them go to waste.
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