We all love science, especially when it explains through logic and studies what we know in our hearts is true! Let’s explore together some thought-provoking facts about child development and how we, as parents, can impact and guide our baby’s growth, so he can become a wonderful human being!
💡 Have you heard a thousand times that carrying your baby too much will spoil him? You won’t hold back your instinct as a parent after reading this! J. Kevin Nugent, director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital in Boston and a child psychologist, says that a newborn baby learns from their interactions with their parents that the world is reliable, and can trust that their needs will be met. Responding to baby’s cries “isn’t a matter of spoiling,” he said. “It’s a matter of meeting the child’s needs.”
Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development is one of the best-known theories of personality. Similar to Freud, Erikson believed that personality develops in a series of stages. The first stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development occurs between birth and one year of age and is the most fundamental stage in life. Because an infant is utterly dependent, the development of trust is based on the dependability and quality of the child’s caregivers.
💡 Even though they tell you to let your child cry and not rush to calm him down, you feel the need to be there for him with all your heart! Studies published in the Current Biology journal, the first of which was by Esposito et al. show that the infant calming response to carrying is a coordinated set of central, motor, and cardiac regulations that is an evolutionarily preserved aspect of caregiver-infant interactions. Also, Professor Narvaez encourages parents to respond to their baby’s cries, whether it means holding them, touching them, or rocking them; it’s all optimal. “What parents do in those early months and years are really affecting the way the #brain is going to grow the rest of their lives,” explains Narvaez, “so lots of holding, touching and rocking, that is what babies expect. They grow better that way.”
💡 Next time you are holding your baby close to your heart in the carrier think of this amazing fact written in a psychology textbook by Ciccarelli: Personality and the formation of relationships begins with psychological and social development during infancy and childhood (p.328). Personality is shown through temperament, a child’s temperament in relation to their primary caregiver’s temperament will determine what style of attachment the child forms with the caregiver (p.330).
💡 Have you wondered what your baby feels when he is being carried with his face towards you? Here is an interesting fact: Your baby is bombarded by external stimuli (shapes, sounds, colors) and can easily feel overwhelmed. Even shy and sleepy babies take an interest in your voice and face. A big section of the brain is devoted to understanding and remembering faces, and a large part of our social behavior is based on how we read other people’s faces. Looking into someone’s eyes is a necessity for “falling in love”. Isn’t it wonderful that while being carried, your baby can see your face, hear your voice and smell your scent, this way feeling completely secure and loved?
💡 Did you ever imagine the remarkable impact you are having on your child’s system just by carrying him? Scientists have known for years that the cerebellum is directly linked to a feedback loop with the vagus nerve which keeps heart rate slow and gives you resilience under pressure. The cerebellum only accounts for about 10% of the size of a baby’s brain but it contains over 50% of its neurons. As adults, we can calm ourselves by practicing meditation, which puts the cerebellum at peace and creates a parasympathetic response of well being. This appears to be the same response that occurs in infants when they are being carried.
❤️ Thus, take this sack of scientific goodies wherever you go and remember, you are an amazing parent who is offering the best of his being to his little angel!