Can babies suffer from stress too? Absolutely!
Babies take their cue from you. If you’re a stressed-out parent, your baby may be under stress as well.
Even though the hum-drum lives of infants are less than vigorous or emotionally draining, they can still become overwhelmed and stressed quickly. While others may mistake your baby for being hungry or cold, many times your baby is actually over-stimulated and stressed. The last thing he needs is a toy or silly song to soothe his troubles. In fact, he would benefit more from a calm and cool environment to mellow out in — just like you!
Not sure if your baby is stressed? Check out this list of visual signs of stress in an infant.
Sign of Stress in Babies
• Arching of the back
• Droopy eyelids
• A worried look
• Tightly fisted hands
• Avoiding eye contact
If you think your baby could be stressed, try out these Stress Busters for Babies!
Stress Busters for Babies
- Avoid stressful situations. For the most part, it is best to keep babies away from loud, noisy and crowded areas. Babies under 12 months of age do not have much appreciation for theme parks, malls or fireworks. However, give them a few years and they can enjoy the fun alongside of you. But, for now, hey prefer their home environment over everything else.
- Choose a primary care-giver. Babies who switch from caregiver to caregiver can become agitated and restless. If a baby spends Mondays and Tuesdays at grandma’s house, then the rest of the work week at the day care and only weekends with mom and dad, a lot of confusion and insecurity can result. Instead, choose a permanent place during the week for your little one to spend most of his waking hours. That way your baby has the same bed to sleep in for naps, the same highchair to enjoy his meals, the same floor to crawl on and the same loving hands to offer reassurance during sick or scary days. Choosing a primary caregiver can make a positive difference in your baby’s disposition. OF course, the best caregiver is — you!
- Divvy out hugs and kisses! Babies thrive on your love and affection. Make sure each and every day is full of cuddles and hugs from you. Take time to rock your little one. Take those special moments before nap and bedtime to just spend time showing your baby how much you love them. Kind and loving human touch works wonders!
- No yelling allowed. Most people become agitated and stressed if someone yells, and yes, even a baby can become stressed. Encourage your family and visitors to keep their voices at a calm level throughout the day. If there are heated disagreements, suggest people dealing with them outside of the house.
- Stay calm and keep on. Babies can become stressed if their parents are stressed. When parents become stressed, they tend to talk and interact less with their children and little ones. Sometimes they even become snappy as they focus on their own conflicts that do not involve the baby or children.
- Stick to a routine. Routines offer babies and kids stability and security. Set-up a day-to-day routine customized to your family’s needs. Even if an unplanned event interrupts your day, you can always step back into your routine and continue where you left off. Routines will also make shopping trips and traveling more pleasant as you will know what times are best for your little one. Check out more ideas and avantages on routines here.
- Get sudsy! Give your bambino a warm, sudsy bath to help calm his emotions. There’s just something about being all wrapped up, warm and clean after a nice long bath. Lavender scents are recommended for an added calming effect.
How does stress affect babies?
• Babies grow up to become children that are unable to deal with low amounts of stress.
• Chronic health problems can result from high levels of stress hormones that are being released throughout the body.
• Memory and learning can become impaired from higher sustained levels of stress hormones.
Focus on calming down and enjoying your little one. Many times we get caught up in the busyness of life that we forget our main priorities in life — our spouse and kids. Don’t let your day-to-day stresses affect your baby. Instead, offer him a calm and collected parent who chooses to give him the best start possible — a beginning that is filled with love, quietness and serenity.
Do you have any stress-busters to share? Let’s hear them in the comments!
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