Have you ever felt that babies have it all easy? They are the most chilled out beings on this planet. All they have to do is eat, sleep and repeat. Right? But my dear friend thats not the case. They may get stressed too. Now you must be thinking how could they possibly be stressed? Let me explain you the scenario.
Take a moment and put yourself in their shoes and you will realize that childhood is not that stress free as we think. A baby is all depended on her caregivers. She cannot feed herself when she is hungry. She is unable to move on her own. She cannot soothe or calm herself as she is not mature enough to do so. How could they not be stressed when they are so much in mercy of their caregivers?
Why is this stress dangerous?
Babies often feel safe and secure when they are around their caregivers. Once they feel that they are alone, they get afraid and stressed. Same is the case with my little one, whenever he gets the feeling that he is lonely, he starts shouting and yelling to call me. We know that baby is safe in her cradle, but she doesn’t know this, her inner alarms warns her of danger.
Causes of Stress:
After entering into this world, babies start learning so many things. She learns how to adjust to the outer surroundings. Her brain is developing and growing rapidly. She is learning emotions and senses. Being scared, hungry or alone can trigger stress in infants. Being over tired and not being able to settle can also cause stress in babies. A stressed baby doesn’t always cry, she cries and then suddenly become silent, that’s when she gets stressed. Crying is the only way of communication for them but when they are communicating and you are not listening, babies feel fearful and stressed.
We know that stress impacts our body and mind equally. Just like adults, stress impact babies. It is dangerous for babies as it impacts their growth and development and even their emotional regulation. Cortisol is a stress hormone which interferes with the growth and brain development and can cause lifelong effects.
Prevention of stress in babies
One of the most important things to do is to create a secure bond with babies to prevent stress. Every child is unique and has a different temperament than the other, so parents can find out ways to prevent stress in babies depending upon the nature and temperament of the baby. You can create a strong and secure bond with your baby by practicing the following exercises:
● Give nurturing touches
● Breastfeeding or bottle feeding with attention and focus
● Answer your baby’s cries.
● Follow your baby’s cues
● Gentle sleep support and nighttime parenting.
● Watch for signs of overstimulation and adjust the baby as needed.
● Being aware of your own mood as it can affect the care you give to your baby.
After spending 9 months in a safe and secure place, baby’s environment and life experiences suddenly hit changes. The first year after birth have a profound impact on their future, so it is important to meet their needs and help them feel secure in this big world.