From the moment you see that adorable little face come into this world, you only want the best for your child. While it’s true that babies don’t come with instruction manuals, there are things we can do as parents to ensure they’re getting the love and emotional support they need. The reality is, you can influence just how happy your baby is now, thus setting them up for a more fulfilling life. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Keep His Diaper Area Clean
Nappy rash is common in babies because their diapers keep moisture close to the skin. No matter how well you maintain your baby’s down-there care, rashes will still crop up from time to time, so you need to use a quality nappy rash cream when they do.
If your baby is prone to nappy rash, be sure to clean the whole diaper zone daily and apply the nappy rash cream liberally to protect this delicate area. Dealing effectively with diaper rash will take you one step closer to having a consistently happy baby.
2. Respond to His Cries
Babies cry when they need something. Be it food, a nappy change, comfort, or something else, it’s the only way they have to communicate in the beginning. When you respond to your baby’s cries, it builds confidence and trust in your child. This carries throughout his life as he knows he can count on you for support.
3. Learn the Art of Swaddling
In the first few months of life, newborns can be calmed by wrapping them snugly in a blanket, almost like a baby burrito. Called swaddling, it triggers the calming reflex in your baby and induces relaxation and sleep.
If your baby cries a lot or has trouble falling asleep, swaddling might soothe them enough to relax. Swaddling for naps and nighttime sleep is a good idea, but once your baby starts rolling over, it’s time to stop swaddling as it can become a suffocation hazard.
4. Embrace Other Calming Methods
While swaddling is a great way to soothe your baby, some children may prefer other calming methods instead of or in addition to it. For instance, the sucking instinct is strong in infants and it has an almost-instant calming effect.
Some parents discourage thumb sucking in their children, but when they are babies, it’s a natural way for them to soothe themselves. Alternately, you can also provide pacifiers to encourage the sucking instinct if your baby is especially colicky. Once your baby is older and his teeth begin popping through, you’ll need to encourage other self-soothing habits as continued thumb sucking and pacifier use can damage teeth.
5. Grow a Mountain of Patience
Parenting is hard, and babies can be so unpredictable. You’ll go without sleep, food, and possibly even some of your sanity for a while, but losing your patience only serves to create anxiety and distrust in your child.
Remember, your baby looks to you for everything and has no way, in the beginning, to tell you what they need other than to cry. Their patterns probably won’t match your ideal schedule, so you’ll need to adjust. Patience is a huge virtue when you’re a parent, so for your child’s happiness – and yours – learn to be patient and flexible.
Every parent just wants their child to be happy and healthy. From the moment your baby enters this world, you can boost their mood and influence their happiness by adopting the habits mentioned above.