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5 ways to help your baby grow into a happy & healthy being

By Nicola Poole IN Connect Discover

Being a parent can feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. When gifted with a child, there is no manual or dummies guide. There are countless ways you can approach child-rearing and yes, it’s fair to say at some stage, you will get it wrong. It’s a big responsibility and one that takes a village!

Did you know that the first 1,000 days from conception to age two are particularly important? With over a million new neural (brain) connections developing every second in a child’s formative years (1), they’re literally like sponges.

“Extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behaviour,” and whilst “the child may not remember, the body remembers.” (1) This is why it is so important to ensure you are providing a safe, nurturing and loving environment for your little one. 

1. First and foremost, it’s crucial that YOU feel supported. The more you’re able to nourish yourself, the more you’ll be able to give to your baby. It is an obvious one, but an area that we often struggle with as mums. There’s no denying if we have an overflowing cup, there’s SO much more to give! Try and cultivate a regular self-care and mindfulness practice. Above all else, be kind to yourself.

2. Point 1 correlates to your mental and emotional wellbeing. By ensuring you have a healthy state of mind, you can better nurture the health of your baby. Stressful experiences in childhood are also known to alter brain development which can have detrimental effects on adulthood. Your baby feels what you feel. So, if you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, or family violence, reach out for assistance. We have listed some helplines below.

3. Nutrition is another important area that will assist in proper brain function and a prospering bubba. We all know the importance of breast milk for optimal brain development. Whatever nutrition you choose to offer your baby, trust that you’re doing what’s best for you and your family. If you’re ever having doubts, be sure to seek out a healthcare professional who can assist. It is important to note that poor nutrition, in particular in the early years, can negatively impact brain development and cause lifelong issues including obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health issues (2). 

4. It is also vital to nurture a baby’s ability to form close and secure relationships; to regulate emotions; to learn and to explore. By doing this, you’re giving them a solid foundation upon which to build a future that is mentally and physically healthy (1). As humans, we THRIVE on connection and relationships are crucial to babies. Hearing your calm voice and feeling your soothing touch can’t be underestimated! Play, sing, and read with your little one. Not only will it bring them great joy, but it will also let them know they’re safe and loved.

5. Lastly, by nurturing your baby’s emotional and mental wellbeing, you’re building a solid foundation that will help regulate their emotions and build their self-confidence. When a child (and subsequent adult), has a solid sense of self-worth, they’re ultimately more resilient. Resilience is such an important quality that helps immensely in navigating our complex world.

“When little people are overwhelmed, it’s our job to share our calm not join their chaos.” L.R. Knost

 

Where to go for help and advice:

 

(1) https://www.tweddle.org.au/infant-mental-health-awareness-week/

(2) https://thousanddays.org/why-1000-days/

 

Nicola Poole

With a belief that everything happens for a reason, Nicola trusts that we are given all we need to be able to handle any situation life throws at us. With a deep determination and curious spirit, she loves connecting with other women to both learn from and assist in any way she can. Nicola is a qualified yoga instructor, spiritual counselor, and parenting coach on a mission to support you on your path to wellness. She holds qualifications in Human Nutrition, Concomitant Healing and a Bachelor of Science in Medicinal Chemistry. As a devoted mum, Nicola values family and commitment. She is committed to providing you the very best possible care in order to achieve true wellness and live the life you dream of.

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