Parenting tips to protect and promote development in infants | Health - Hindustan Times

Parenting tips to protect and promote development in infants

ByZarafshan Shiraz
Nov 08, 2022 10:10 AM IST

Protecting the health and safety of infants is a prerequisite for their optimal growth and development. Here are some ways that parents can ensure proper development of their infants

The immunity received by the babies from their mother at birth is short lasting and will go away in weeks or months but babies, like anyone else make their own antibodies when they are exposed to a virus or other germ and their immune system starts to work. It is therefore important for the child to be exposed to the surroundings and not be over protected where they must play outdoor and also be exposed to the sun which help them to develop Vitamin D – a crucial vitamin to build immunity.

Parenting tips to protect and promote development in infants ( Ivan Samkov)
Parenting tips to protect and promote development in infants ( Ivan Samkov)

Adequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood are essential to ensure the growth, health and development of children to their full potential whereas poor nutrition increases the risk of illness while inappropriate nutrition can also lead to childhood malnutrition. Given that protecting the health and safety of infants is a prerequisite for their optimal growth and development, Dr Rajan Gupta, Consultant at Mylo, advised in an interview with HT Lifestyle about how parents can ensure proper development of their infants:

1. Provide adequate nutrition

To grow and develop optimally, babies need adequate nutrition. While breastmilk can be the only and most optimal source of nutrition during the first six months, it must be complemented with healthy solid foods eventually.

2. Breastfeeding exclusively for first 6 months

The importance and benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life cannot be understated. The positive effects of breastfeeding on the development of infants range from protection against various diseases to optimal physical and mental health.

3. Make them feel safe and secure

To support the healthy growth and development of infants, it is essential to protect their mental and emotional health. Parents must ensure that they raise their child in a safe and harmonious environment.

4. Timely immunizations and care

There is no better way to protect the development of infants than ensuring that a baby receives all the key vaccinations, especially during the initial years of life. Timely immunizations and care during sickness will help strengthen the baby’s immune system and aid in their development.

5. Engage in interactive games

To boost the development of infants, parents must engage in development-boosting activities such as tummy time and peek-a-boo with their babies. Engaging regularly in such interactive games facilitates motor, sensory, cognitive and social development in babies.

6. Connect and communicate

To help babies develop language and social skills, parents must start communicating with them from the day they are born. It will not only strengthen the parent-child bond but also play a crucial role in their development

7. Milestones to look out for in infant development

During the first year of a baby’s development, each stage is characterized by certain milestones. Important skills like smiling, rolling over, holding their neck, focusing their eyes, sitting up, gripping objects and putting in their mouth, define timely development of the infant.

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