Parenting infants (0-1 years)

Infant development encompasses various aspects, including physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth. The first two years of life are a pivotal time in brain development. The brain grows from 25% to 80% of its adult size, creating up to a million neural connections every second (Tierney,  2009). Although it may seem that all your child needs to do is eat, sleep, and be changed, they’re actually doing significant work – building their brain. Infants reach developmental milestones during this stage, such as rolling over, sitting up, standing, and possibly walking. (Carson et al., 2022). They also transition to eating solid food and are more interested in experimenting with new sounds, sights, objects, and other sensory activities.

Experiences and interactions strengthen these connections, making this period critical for development. It is important to engage with your baby by talking to them, responding to their sounds, and reading to them (Murray & Egan, 2013). This helps them develop language skills and understanding. Singing and listening to music also fosters a love for music and supports brain development. Praise, loving attention, play, and cuddle time helps build a secure attachment to parents and caregivers (Benoit, 2004).

Since this is an adjustment period for the family dynamic, it’s advisable that the new parents also take care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, as this positively influences their ability to care for the child. (Olson et al., 2019).

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