Bringing a baby into the world can be an exciting and rewarding adventure unlike any other. Every child is unique, carrying with them varying difficulties and joys, but all parents share the same responsibility of ensuring that their child is healthy, safe and loved. Often, the first year can be very tiring, filled with questions, worries, fears, and sleepless nights, but doing the best you can and knowing that your baby is happy and cared for will help relieve those initial doubts and anxieties.
Whether becoming a parent for the first time or adding to a growing family, caring for an infant is a fulltime job, one that requires constant attention and finesse. Closely, personally and warmly connecting with your baby will forge bonds that will make your child feel loved, nurtured and secure. Some early bonding activities include: talking and reading to your baby, holding and cuddling your baby and bathing with your baby. In addition to focusing on your baby’s health and wellbeing, it is just as important for parents to focus on themselves. Babies are influenced by your attitudes, so enjoying a healthy, happy life will not only create a good example, but will allow you to be a better parent.
The first year of life is a critical period of development and a base for all future growth. Physical and mental maturity occurs rapidly in the first year as babies learn to understand the world around them. It is at this initial stage that infants see, hear, smell, taste, and feel for the first time. First-year milestones include: the first smile, grabbing, hugging, crawling, rolling over, sitting up, and standing. You owe it to yourself and your baby to actively participate in these extraordinary changes that will help shape your child and the personas, relationships and behaviors that will mark their lives now and in the future.