5 tips for a happy baby
Is you baby always crying, leaving you desperate? Don’t despair – help is at hand. Health visitor and author Sarah Beeson MBE gives her tips on strengthening the bond between you and your baby – plus we have 3 copies of her new book to give away!
Plenty of baby care advice focuses on the practical needs of your baby, but meeting your child’s emotional needs is just as important. Whether or not a child has a strong attachment to their parent or carer is life altering – it’s what makes them feel secure in themselves and those around them.
1 Be as tactile as possible
Every single day all those cuddles, smiles, cooing, singing, reading and playing with your baby add up. Every look of love you share with your little one helps to build a strong bond day by day with no conscious effort at all. Don’t hold back on the hugs or eye contact. You can’t spoil a baby that way!
2 Play the day away
Playtime with your baby will not just help their development but regular happy activity with you only increases their feelings of love and security. It is also a great way for developing interests with your baby. They will become curious about their world and how things work. Babies have a strong desire to explore. They love toys with a texture that is soft, and fuzzy material that makes a crinkly, crunchy or squeaky noise. It is mainly through play that children under five learn and develop new skills. You don’t have to spend a fortune on toys – put into a basket or box a plastic kitchen sieve, some Tupperware, a wooden spoon and any safe household utensils with no sharp edges or small parts. Let your little one pull everything out and explore each new item. Your home is a treasure trove of fun.
3 Use your voice
While playing, be sure to narrate what you are doing, have one-sided chats and leave a little gap for your baby to talk back – they’ll soon be joining in with the conversation. All babies love to be sung to – no matter how off-key your voice may be! Make up little songs as part of your daily routine – your little one will come to know what is about to happen next and may even start to hum along with you!
4 Get out and about
Take the opportunity – whatever the weather – to get out and about in the fresh air. The exercise and natural light will help both your happiness levels. On your travels, point interesting things out to your little one, in the park, let them touch the bark of trees and blades of grass, in the supermarket, let them put unbreakable objects in the trolley – or let little babies feel the different textures of the packaging.
5 Set boundaries gently
Saying ‘No’ is a verbal command. Your baby will probably take no notice. Calmly picking them up and distracting with something else is the best way to stop your baby getting into mischief. Having a consistent and positive approach to setting boundaries, and praising them when they make progress, all help to make your baby feel happy, loved and secure as well as keeping them safe.