We all want our babies to be healthy and happy. From the moment we see their adorable little heads, we want what’s best for our babies, and that includes their happiness. But be comforted because you can influence just how happy they are both today and in the future. Here’s what you can do:
1. Respond to their cries.
This may sound pretty obvious, but it’s essential to respond when your baby is crying. Crying is a baby’s main form of communication, and during the first six months of life, it’s crucial to answer their call. By tending to them, you are laying down a positive emotional foundation for your baby. If you are to ignore their cries, it could cause them unnecessary anxiety, which may last until adulthood. You can’t spoil a newborn baby with attention, so be sure to respond if they cry. Hold them and show them that they can rely on you for their comfort, and you will raise an emotionally healthy baby.
For babies, contentedness, security, and serenity can make them happy. Something upsets them at different times of the day, and when they are picked up, then fed or comforted – they feel secure. When they are being attended to when they cry, babies learn quickly to like and trust their caregivers. There is optimism in predictability for them, and it can pay off for life. It becomes the basis for the other relationships they will have, and they’ll build on that intimacy from the first nine months of their life.
When they are upset, make it a point to validate their emotions. Acknowledge your infant’s feelings so they will feel understood. It’s never too early to show them that their feelings matter. A simple hug and kiss can go a long way when your little one is upset or struggling.
2. Talk to your baby often.
One daily yet easy habit that can help your raise a happy and cheerful child is to make it to a point to talk to them often. It may seem silly to have conversations with a person who doesn’t seem to understand and doesn’t talk back. But babies are quite avid listeners. Talking to them will help them feel connected to you. Interaction is crucial to babies, making them feel safe and secure, and it also helps build their language development.
Here are some ideas to help you talk to your baby:
- Talk about what you are doing. Give your baby a running commentary as you go about your day. You can say things like, “Mommy’s folding the laundry, which I washed and dried under the sun yesterday.” Talk them through what you are doing to them, like when you’re talking them through a diaper change or a bath.
- Talk in any language or switch between different languages you can speak. It all helps your baby learn about language, words, and talking. Avoid using baby talk – use actual words so they will learn the correct ones.
- Sing songs and rhymes. Your baby will enjoy the rhythm of the words and will be soothed by your voice. It will also help them develop their language skills. Babies love to hear songs, even if it’s off-key.
- When your baby babbles, respond by talking back. Leave a gap when it’s now your baby’s turn to talk again. This will teach your baby about the pattern of conversation.
- Name the objects and toys around you. For example, say, “Look, these are your jammies. We’re going to put them on before you sleep, okay?”
- Read books and tell stories to your baby from their birth. After a few weeks, your baby will know that this is when you enjoy your special time together. Even when your baby can’t understand just yet, reading to them is very important for their brains. It will help them get interested in books for when they are older. Your baby can also start to recognize words and learn to listen to what others say.
3. Plan for lots of sleep.
Healthy and adequate sleep plays a massive role in raising a satisfied and contented baby. If your little one is tired and exhausted, his mood is hardly going to be all unicorns and rainbows. To improve the chances of peaceful waking hours, let sleep take precedent over everything else.
If your baby starts rubbing his eyes or face and has been awake for more than three hours, that’s your cue to put him to sleep. You can use a white noise machine or an app to drown out household noises and provide soothing background noise. Keep it at a low volume and away from your baby to protect your baby’s hearing.
Sleep is one of the baby’s main activities, so be consistent in dealing with it. One way that you can encourage a sleep schedule is to start a bedtime routine. Give them a warm bath before putting them to sleep, or have a snuggle time in a rocking chair.
4. Feed baby on demand, and give them good food.
Breastfeeding moms must feed their babies on demand. This means that you must watch your baby for physical cues that they are hungry and feed them at that time. Look out for signs of hunger, like when the baby is smacking their lips or sucking on their fingers or wrist. By allowing them to feed on demand, your body learns to produce the right amount of milk to fill their tummy. Putting them on a feeding schedule can be stressful for the baby, and they will feel so secure if you feed them on demand.
Once they are allowed to eat solid foods, give them good food. Start early to create good eating habits. Try to stick to one ingredient foods like fruits, vegetables, and eggs. You may also want to adjust your eating habits if you’re used to eating junk foods. Once they grow older (and that happens soon before you know it) and see you eating nothing but junk, they will mimic those eating habits.
5. Wear your baby.
Babies, especially newborns, love to be carried around. They want to be near you, held by you, or on you. But this makes functioning in life as an adult with other responsibilities can make your everyday life a lot trickier. To help with this, you can try babywearing or wearing your baby.
With the help of a special baby carrier, you can wear your baby, so they can be with you, and you can carry them hands-free. There are wraps to backpack-like carriers. Wearing your baby helps with almost anything from the baby’s mood to their health.
Babies who are worn cry less, so the more you wear your baby, the happier they will be. And when they spend less time crying, they spend more time learning and interacting with their environments. Also, having your baby so close allows you to touch them more and respond to their cues more easily.