The previous Great NEWS post shared Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 6 – Newborn Parenting Challenges and today we continue the series with Part 7 – Infant Parenting Challenges. Parenting newborns and infants requires developing special behaviors, habits and routines to enable the parents to deal with a wide range of situations. My own personal experience and observations of parents can reduce a lot of strain and stress when dealing with infants. Many parenting issues result from lack of coaching and common sense for new parents. Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems – Part 7 will cover key simple steps to support parents with infants.
Once a parent has been dealing with the newborn for a while it is time to develop a happy and healthy routine for the parents and infant. Parenting is a team sport that requires both parents to contribute attention, energy, input, love, nurturing, support and time for each other and the infant. As mentioned previously it is essential for the parents to work together as a team when dealing with an infant. This is the reason that single moms face such major obstacles when raising an infant by themselves. It is more than one person can easily handle on their own and requires a support network.
Parenting infants lays the foundation for the rest of their life so it must be doe with great care and insight. With technology today it is easier than ever before to find great coaching and resources stop stupid mistakes and start making better choices. Parents can benefit from the education and experience of other parents to avoid many of the miscalculations and mishaps using the trial and error approach to raising infants.
As infants become more active and demanding is requires the parents to up their game and parenting skills. There are so many choices and decisions to be made regarding infants that parents can begin to feel over stressed and overwhelmed.
When parents use common sense and good judgment they are able to avoid many of the challenges and issues that negatively impact parents and infants. The first couple of months during the newborn arriving at home and being an infant establish the master blueprint and foundation for all the years to come.
Infant Parenting Principles
Breastfeeding is still the top choice for infant nourishment. Regardless of the excuses, hype and stories regarding the hassles and nuisance of breast feeding there is no close second option when it comes to perfect nutrition for infants. How long one continues is a personal choice. Many experts recommend at least six months and others recommend up to one year or more.
During the first seven years of a child’s life the ground work is laid that will control and dictate the majority of their behaviors, habits and routines for life. Therefore this first seven years is critical for the parents to invest the energy, love and time to help insure their children will be happy and well adjusted for life.
My own experience and that of other parents indicates that how things go the first several months can set the standard and structure for the years to come. Parents can benefit from growing up and making better choices and wiser decisions for themselves and their children.
Too many parents have been living for many years with poor sleeping habits that cause them excessive stress. Learning to go to bed at a normal hour like 22:00 on a routine basis helps the parents and children maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Sleep is one of the most important ways for the body to process the energy and information that occurs during the day. The body restores itself and food is digested and toxins processed so the body is refreshed and renewed for the next day. When parents stay up late or allow infants to be up late they are setting themselves up for sleep challenges and behavior issues.
The first 90 days with an infant are essential for establishing great behaviors, habits and routines that keep the family happy and healthy. Tired parents or infants are easier to become difficult, grumpy and irritable.
Colic in infants is a sign that the mother is eating some things that do not agree with her, may have sleep issues and digestive challenges. Being calm, cool and collected is a vital skill for parents to master.
Learning a little about Ayurveda is beneficial in order for you to about your body traits and type which is referred to as your dosha. Your emotional, mental and physical disposition is set at birth and your dosha will offer amazing insight into what is optimal for your life style for health and well being.
As newborns become infants they may need new clothes to accommodate their growth. One of the best things you can do as a parent is to set up a checklist for clothes so you have the right number of the right sizes when you need them. Too many parents have too many newborn outfits which are outgrown quickly leaving the parents to buy new items. Cute yet expensive outfits may seem like a great gift yet sometimes the less expensive and simpler items work out better. Babies grow so fast a high priced outfit may not be a wise choice. Many clothes today have flame retardant fabrics and stain free fabrics which are treated with toxic chemicals. Learn to read the labels carefully in order to avoid exposure to harmful substances.
As infants become more active it is important to look around each day for potentially harmful accessories, choking hazards and toys that could result in injury. Items with an electrical plug, moving parts or small parts create a potential risk to infants. Many times parents have been known to trip over a baby item or toy especially at night or when they are tired.
As you continue to receive baby gifts it is OK to be very specific and let people know what is or is not acceptable. We all know what an inconvenience it is to return an item without a receipt and the time wasted standing in lines. Do yourself and family a favor by letting them know that you have a specific list of items to buy or that gift cards to specific stores are perfectly acceptable.
Since there are food and products made around the world it is up to parents to do the due diligence to determine the contents and materials used. Food, clothing, toys and children products can all contain harmful compounds. Parents must always be on the look out for harmful and recalled products. Your infant’s life could be in jeopardy due to a free cheap gift someone else purchased. Every year infants choke on or eat items that can harm or kill them.
Dehydration with infants is a significant problem and must be monitored. Also infants can loose weight due to diarrhea or other issues that can put them at high risk.
Burns from hot baths, coffee, foods, heaters, stoves and even tea are other risks that infants face. Infants carried by a parent can easily be dropped or harmed when a parent is distracted or doing chores. Sleep deprivation is a major contributor to accidents.
Infants need extra care when holding, moving and transferring to a new location. It is easy for an infants head or neck to be injured by an adult that is not careful and offering full support.
Bacteria, fungal and viral infections are an ongoing concern for moms and infants so it is important to build your immune system and avoid unnecessary factors which can weaken your immune system. Healthy beverages and foods are vital to health. Processed foods and additives can rob you of your health and vitality..
How parents talk to each other, family and friends sets the stage for how they will talk to their infant. This in turn sets the stage for how a person will talk to their children for life. Being abusive, angry, mean or upset with an infant is ridiculous and may begin setting up imprinting for negative emotions and self worth issues in the future. When you learn to talk in a calm and loving tone you will maintain your composure and competence for great parenting. Infants are not responsible for things that happen and screaming, shouting or yelling only makes things worse.
Infants are a reflection of the environment and parents they grow up with. Now would be a great time to audit and review the home situation to determine how well you are doing with your new infant and on the job training. Health magazines, stores and websites have a wealth of information to help guide you along the path with great parenting principles. .
Another important decision revolves around medications and vaccinations for mom and the newborn. When you do your homework you will see there is a lot of controversy around the number and types of vaccinations given to newborns and the potential risks and side effects. Autism and crib death are two of the most debated risks from vaccinations for newborns and infants.
Another controversial decision revolves around circumcision for boy newborns. This one is very delicate so do your research before you make that important decision.
This is a great time to double check all your baby care products, body care products, cleaning products, clothing, cosmetics, foods, furniture, household, work area and garage for any harmful chemicals or compounds that could harm you or a newborn.
Processed foods for adults and infants are often loaded with harmful chemicals in the form of additives, colorings, dyes, flavorings, preservatives, seasonings, synthetic compounds and synthetic vitamins. You must be very diligent before you buy a product to research the ingredients. Once it is in your house it is much more difficult to protect your health and an infant.
All water should be filtered to avoid chlorine and fluoride exposure. Also check the quality of the air, building and land around you. Make sure your home and work place do not put you and your infant at risk for harmful exposure.
All dental/ medical procedures, over the counter medicines, prescription medications and vaccinations have a degree of risk and harmful side effects that can affect your health and that of a newborn. Did you know that synthetic supplements and vitamins can have adverse reactions?
Elector Magnetic Frequencies (EMF) is a big concern today because of the wide spread application and use in everyday life. Cell phones, cell phone towers, computers, cordless phones, electronics, high power lines, microwave ovens, smart meters, transformers and WiFi constantly bombard us with various forms of radiation. Be sure there are no electronic devices in the infant’s room or within close proximity. Also check the areas that adjoin the newborns room for potential exposure.
Newborns need mother’s milk for optimal growth and nourishment. Avoid the advertising hype that formula is just as good as breast feeding. There is also a temptation to use formula as a convenient alternative to free the mother from the responsibility and time of breast feeding. It is also promoted to shorten the duration of breast feeding. It is important to know that breast feeding has been shown to help the newborn to increase weight faster, provide a stronger immune system and develop higher mental capacities.
Infant formula is an artificial and synthetic combination of ingredients that can have harmful effects. Soy based formula could have Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) soy and sugar beets, herbicides, High fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and pesticides. Many doctors and scientists now believe that the excess sugar in formula is causing infants to become addicted to sugar early which leads to health and weight problems early in life.
Baby foods are another major concern. In spite of great advertising and commercials baby foods are not much better than other highly processed foods. Excessive additives, heat, sugars and treatments destroy the enzymes, nutrients and vitamins in baby foods. While vitamins may be added back in they are usually synthetic vitamins which are not the same as natural ones.
Juices are another concern because they contain significant amounts of sugars (fruit sugar and often HFCS) that are not good for infants. Many pediatricians are recommending against giving juice to newborns and infants because they need high quality nourishment for their development and growth and not sugar.
Modern society is releasing w wide range of synthetic antibiotics, chemicals, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides and other toxins into our air, land and waters. These chemicals find their way into our environment and food supply. Most newborns in the US have over 100 harmful chemicals in their body at birth.
Being extremely cautious regarding the risks from accidents, animals, alcohol, chemicals, insects, medications, smoking and toxins is vital for the health and safety of a newborn.
One of the key things a mother can control for her health and that of her newborn is the food she puts into her body while breast feeding. Nutrition is a key component of health and must be a primary focus. What a mother and father eat affects every aspect of the body, mind and spirit so please choose wisely. Infants often receive some foods from parents which begin to role model their parents so it is essential to begin setting the foundation for a healthy household early. Source the best foods you can find and buy the least processed locally grown organic whole foods. To preserve their peak nutritional benefits use fresh foods with minimal heating and processing.
In order for a mother to provide high quality breast milk she needs healthy foods with the enzymes, fats, minerals, phyto-nutrients, trace elements and vitamins necessary for her body and enough to feed the newborn. This will impact her energy and health and impact her infant becoming a healthy child.
After going through pregnancy and childbirth a woman can accumulate a lot of excess harmful products and toxins. This might be a great time for focusing on some light cleansing, detoxing and being sure to eliminate any harmful substances and toxins from her life. Eating high quality foods and super foods as well as juicing are great ways to naturally eliminate toxins and unhealthy choices. This will help replenish the mother’s body and also help insure great breast milk for the infant.
Mothers and fathers must focus on giving even better care to the mother first. It is imperative to give better care to the mother first in order for her to give better care to an infant. It requires great skills, strategies and support systems to be great parents and provide great care.
Both parents are essential for peak parenting and creating a happy, healthy and in harmony environment for themselves and the well being of infants. You deserve this and so does your child.
By avoiding the distractions of watching TV or chatting for hours on the phone you can learn the best techniques and tips for being a great parent. Investing the time to read out loud to your infant each day will help you and help them develop into safer and smarter beings.
Continue to discuss and decide key concerns and concepts regarding raising the children so you provided a fairly unified team when dealing with the family and friends. This can help reduce and even resolve many issues that pop up and drag parents into the gutters with upsetting consequences.
Obviously whole books are written on these topics so it is important to ask around and find the best books and right resources to help you deal with all the challenges you will face.
This Great NEWS post offers simple suggestions to help with Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems. Parenting is both an art and a science that requires imagination and insight. To be a great parent requires mastery action plans and lots of great resources and role models. This post on Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 7 is designed to help parents start off with more skills, strategies, support and systems to enable them to be more adept with their infants to increase the odds for raising great children.
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Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 8 Toddler Parenting Challenges