Many of a child’s experiences before the age of two will shape the rest of his or her life, as these very early months are critical in cognitive and emotional development. While no child chooses a parent, all children are affected by their early childcare, and will continue to be impacted well into adult development. As reported by Commission Health, a vast amount of research that a child’s development in the early years can be linked to later health outcomes in life, including things like depression, obesity, and alcohol abuse.
For parents, it is critical to understand what types of nurturing and stimuli a young child needs for a potentially healthier and more balanced outcome. While there will always be the nurture versus nature argument, clearly parents should treat their children in loving and responsible ways, and through good care giving, also hopefully influence how their children will develop as adults.
Parents should realize that in the first year of a child’s development, it is critical for that child to be able to trust anyone with whom he or she comes in contact with. As an infant, the baby completely relies on others for all of its needs to be met; therefore, the baby should be exposed to a secure environment with gentle and comprehensive nurturing. For parents who hire a nanny, great care should be given in selecting a person who will fit in with the family dynamic and parenting style, and clearly who can be trusted.
It is the responsibility of parents to do adequate research on what is appropriate in terms of feeding and nurturing a young child. While various experts may offer somewhat differing opinions, new parents can seek advice from their physician, parents or trusted friends. It’s essential that babies are held often, and that they do not get a sense of being left alone or abandoned. Young children should be made to feel safe, and they should be protected from dangerous toys or rowdy children who are too young to handle them properly.
Babies should be exposed to things that assist with their brain development, such as classical music. Their diets should be nutritious and properly monitored, with the young child fed when hungry. New parents are often nervous upon realizing the critical role they will play in the development of their child, and the effects on adulthood.
However, with some common sense, lots of love, and willingness to research and learn, parents can create a loving environment and strive to meet their young child’s needs. By doing so, they will more likely see their child develop into a more secure and confident person with the ability to thrive in this world.