From the moment your baby is conceived, you’re bombarded with messages about buying his “wholeness.” But the well-being of your child has little to do with purchasing the newest bouncy seat on the market or dressing him in adorable outfits to impress your friends on social media. Healthy, happy grown children are raised that way by caring, attentive parents. This means giving babies your attention, energy and love.
Babies need your presence more than they need your presents. Just as a vitamin or mineral deficiency can lead to problems later in life, you need to focus on fulfilling the basic needs that your baby has from birth onward to raise him into a happy, confident child. But babies are not the only ones with needs. Every person on the planet longs to experience these six properties of living from the day they are born until the day they die. By identifying the desires you have in common with your baby, you can become a more mindful parent.
6 Things Every Baby Needs to Thrive
SENSE OF SECURITY
Every baby needs to feel wanted. A baby’s future ability to manage tension is affected by how secure he feels during the first years of life, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. They need this in order to develop self-esteem. In order to thrive, a baby needs to feel his primary caregiver is taking care of his every need. Secondary caregivers need to give as much quality attention as a parent. For Baby to feel secure as he grows, YOU need to feel secure.
MINDFUL TIP 4 YOU De-stress by taking walks, exercising, meditating, checking in with friends … whatever you need to do that is wholesome and healthy to be the best you can be.
Allow your baby to experience her feelings — crying is OK! Your child’s future ability to experience pleasure, intimacy and to create healthy relationships hinges on her ability to get her emotional needs met in infancy and beyond. When we are older, so much of our ability to experience joy depends on our emotional intelligence. Peaceful or fussy, know that your child is experiencing life in a way that only allows them to communicate like this.
MINDFUL TIP 4 YOU Aim to process your emotions, so you are emotionally available for your baby. Practice patience. Journal, paint or do any other type of artistic practice that helps you channel your own emotions. Work on being the adult in control for your baby.
FEELING OF WORTH
Every baby needs to feel valued. Children develop identity based on feeling loved, heard and respected. From birth onward, your baby needs help developing a “blueprint” for his future abilities. It help him thrive when you encourage him to do things like roll over, crawl and walk. When you positively mirror for him, he feels good about himself. Go ahead and cheer as he achieves small milestones like lifting his head, raising up his arms.
MINDFUL TIP 4 YOU You need encouragement, too. Make an agreement with your partner to encourage each other with the baby. As a family, become each other's cheerleaders.
TO GIVE AND GET LOVE
To love and to be loved makes us human. Medical professionals say it’s impossible to spoil a baby, so kiss, hug and snuggle with your baby a lot. Infants can’t manipulate adults; they only express themselves to get their needs met. Provide a peaceful tone as much as possible in your home, and open your heart to all that love you’re capable of giving.
MINDFUL TIP 4 YOU Many couples experience turbulence while adjusting to new parenthood. Set aside time for each other and be good to one another. Realize this time period is an adjustment and that you are going through a transition. Be easy on yourself and on each other.
Personality emerges from birth through the interplay between disposition and experience. Take the time just to BE with your baby. As she becomes mobile, observe what she does and is attracted to. Find playful areas of interest with your baby as she grows and it will bolster her aptitude for learning. Know that babies are a delight — delight in her development!
MINDFUL TIP 4 YOU Don’t rush through the moments with your child. Savor the experiences that will be memories before you know it.
A SPIRITUAL LIFE
As the saying goes, there are many paths up the same mountain. You need to prepare your child to climb the mountain by himself one day, without your assistance. But what will he rely upon? A higher power? Your job is to lead your child to “the well” so he can choose for himself one day. Meanwhile, inspire your baby with calmness, joy, grace and insight.
MINDFUL TIP 4 YOU Recognize that you have gifts and your baby has his own, too. Your job is to “unfold” your child — what a gift!