Everything Your Baby Needs to Grow Well

You don't need to be an expert in child development to give your baby all the love and attention he deserves from birth. Daily care and love are the only things your baby really needs to grow up well. To help your baby develop in the best possible way, you can follow these tips.

Show your love

The first years of life have a direct and measurable impact on a child's physical, mental and emotional development. Children need love. Your unconditional love and support will give your baby the opportunity to explore the world and make many discoveries. So never hesitate to hug, touch, cuddle, smile, encourage, listen and play with your child as much as you can!

Heart formed by baby's feet and parents' hands

It's also important to respond to his cries, especially during the first six months or so. After a few months, your baby will cry less if you're there for him right from the start. Experts believe that responding quickly to your baby when he's upset (as well as when he's happy) builds his confidence and helps him establish a strong emotional bond.

Satisfying basic needs

Your baby needs to be healthy to learn and grow. Take your baby to the doctor regularly for regular growth checks or to update his or her vaccinations. Take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

  • His dream

Visit sleep is an important parameter for your baby. Your role is to help him sleep as soundly as possible. In fact, it's advisable to introduce a bedtime ritual as early as 8 weeks of age. During REM sleep, your baby's brain cells make important sleep connections that later facilitate learning, movement and thinking. These connections help your baby make sense of what he sees, hears, tastes, touches and smells as he explores the world day after day.

  • Feed him

Breast milk or formula provides all the nutrients a baby needs for the first six months of life, and is a staple diet for up to a year. If you plan to start feeding your baby before the 26th week, always consult your pediatrician or physician.

A mother breastfeeds her baby

Breastfeeding is still the best thing you can do for your baby. Studies show that breast-fed babies have fewer allergies (asthma or eczema), diarrhea, respiratory problems, obesity and ear infections. But if you can't breastfeed, or choose not to, your baby may do well on formula.

Avoid potential colic by mixing well and preparing milk bottles at the last minute, especially when you're away from home. Cuddle your baby and maintain eye contact during feeds. Be sure to check your baby's position to prevent the risk of ear infections.

If you still have questions about your child's sleep or diet, don't hesitate to discuss them with your paediatrician or GP.

  • Daily care

Make sure your baby is always comfortable. If he's too hot, quickly remove a layer of clothing, or when his diaper is full, change it immediately. You and your baby are a team. Keep in mind that your job is to take care of him so that he can develop and progress on a daily basis.

Talk to your baby

Research shows that children whose parents talk to them a lot as babies develop more advanced language skills than children who don't receive much verbal stimulation. You can start even while you're pregnant - it's a great way to bond.

Happy smiling baby

After giving birth, you can talk to your baby while changing his diaper, feeding him or giving him a bottle. He'll respond better if he knows the words are addressed to him. So try to look at him while you talk. Don't try to be philosophical, just describe what you're doing or what your baby is doing.

Parents naturally speak baby talk, using simplified phrases and a high-pitched voice. Experts say this helps young babies learn the language. However, as your child grows, use a more conditioned voice so that he or she can develop good language skills.

Read to your baby

Reading aloud is one of the most important things you can do to develop your child's vocabulary, stimulate their imagination and improve their language and social skills. By showing your child the value of books from an early age, you're helping to make reading a good habit for the rest of his or her life. It's also a good reason to bond with your baby!

Daddy reads a book to his baby

Babies really start to enjoy picture books around 6 months of age. Reading a bedtime story is often a popular way to soothe baby before putting him to sleep. It's also an activity that can easily be incorporated into a bedtime ritual.

Stimulating baby's senses

Your child needs to meet different people, places and things to learn more about them. Each new interaction gives him information about the world and his place in it. Even the simplest everyday activities can stimulate your baby's development.

  • Choose toys and objects with different shapes, textures, colors, sounds and weights.
  • Play your favorite music or sing songs and rhymes with him. Let your baby listen to different styles of music to find out what he likes best.
  • Play interactive games such as hide-and-seek, take long walks or go shopping, and let your baby meet new people.

Give it room to grow

To develop muscles, balance and coordination, your child needs space. Try to find places of play and freedom where your baby can crawl, walk and play safely without constantly hearing "no" or "don't touch".

Baby ramp

For example, in the kitchen, place cabinet blocks on all the cupboards except one, which will be reserved for your child. Fill this cupboard with plastic boxes, wooden spoons or pots and pans for baby to play with.

Challenge your baby

When an activity doesn't come easily to your baby, he needs to find a new way of doing it. As far as possible, avoid upsetting your child with games, toys or activities that are not to his liking. Toys that are a little more difficult for him can help him progress. When an activity isn't easy for your baby, give him a chance to think about how to succeed. This kind of problem-solving helps your baby's brain to develop properly.

For example, when he tries to open a box or do something, take your time to help him. Let him try first. If he doesn't succeed, show him how, then close the box so he can try again on his own. Be sure to encourage and congratulate him on his progress.

Take care of yourself

It's true that a happy parent makes a happy baby, so take care of yourself. When you're tired, depressed or angry, it's harder for you to respond appropriately to your baby's needs. The simple daily interactions between mother, father and child are very important for the baby's development. Depression and anxiety can interfere with these interactions. These concerns can have long-term consequences for your child's learning and behavior.

Loving couple walking outside

If you're struggling with a postpartum depressionDon't hesitate to ask for help. Consult your doctor or midwife. Talk groups can help depressed mothers reconnect with their babies.

If you're feeling exhausted, find a way to share the household chores and child-rearing responsibilities with your partner. If you're a single mother, surround yourself with people who can help and support you. Never forget to take time for yourself. Being a busy, committed parent is tiring, and you need time to recharge your batteries from time to time.

Even if it's just a walk with your baby in the stroller, exercise every day, eat healthily and take a break to rest if you need to.

Finding the right childcare for everyone

If you work outside the home and need childcare, choosing the right childcare is essential for your child's development.

Whether you choose a nanny, relative or crèche, make sure that the person who will look after your child is experienced, caring and trustworthy. They must love children and have enough energy to help your child develop properly.

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