Being a mother is a huge blessing and it is also a huge amount of responsibility. To take care of all the needs of a child can be daunting, particularly when it comes to their health. There can be so many different articles, methods, let alone opinions! So, for some tips and tricks on handling the health of your child, read on.
1. Nursing or formula?
The tricky questions start as soon as a child is born. Breastfeeding can be brilliant for both the baby and the mother — it provides nutrients and can even support the baby’s immune system — but it is not right for everyone. It is incredibly time-consuming and can be physically impossible due to factors such as tongue-tie. The important thing to note here is that a fed baby is a happy baby. There are brilliant formula options if that is what suits your family best, so make sure to do what works best for you.
2. Ensure they are getting enough sleep
This can feel incredibly hard, especially when they are small, but sleep is so important for the development of their brains. When they are babies, you can set a bedtime routine that involves a bath, feeds, cuddles and lullabies. This routine can help infants to drift off and have better quality sleep. When children start to get older, keeping a routine in help is just as useful. They will start to understand the queues – that bath and a story mean bedtime – and it can help them just as much as when they were little.
3. Encourage healthy eating
Ensuring that children are getting the right nutrients is important from the start. When they start eating solid food – also called ‘weaning’ – you can begin their healthy eating journey. Ensuring that the whole family eats a balanced diet, filled with veggies, fruits, carbohydrates, proteins and fiber, can be a life’s work. But it can also be enjoyable! If you find your child is struggling to find interest in the right foods, then you can encourage them to cook with you. This makes cooking – and therefore eating! – more enjoyable, and your child will get more comfortable around foods that they do not enjoy.
4. Ensure they have access to the right medical care
When a child is born, you want to ensure they have access to everything they need to keep them healthy, and that desire never goes away! So, to set your child up for success, make sure they are registered with a doctor and, in time, a pediatric dentist. By having these in place before you need them, you know who to go to in a crisis.
5. Encourage play
Play is so important for the development of a child’s mind — it improves their emotional, physical, cognitive and social development. They immerse themselves in make-believe worlds and learn skills, confidence and even resilience through play. Encourage your child to play independently by leaving them to it. If they struggle, praise their efforts and introduce something that your child already loves to do.
6. Keep on top of vitamins
Most vitamins can be taken from the foods your child eats, so make sure they have a wide and varied diet that will provide them with the right level of nutrients. There are some vitamins, however, that are helpful to supplement, such as vitamin D. Vitamin D is so important for helping children’s bones grow and preventing rickets, which is a condition that causes bones to soften.
7. Outdoor time
Ensuring your child or children get outside daily to play, learn, get fresh air and explore is very important. Encourage this behavior by taking them out to things like the park, for walks or to the beach. Fresh air is so good for children, and it gets them away from screens and the pressures of the online world.
8. Support their mental health
Now more than ever, we know how important good mental health is. To ensure the mental health of your children is good, start by communicating with them openly and confidently — encourage them to talk about their feelings and make them aware that you are there if they need anything. When they get to school-age, keep in contact with their teachers, as they can let you know if they are worried about the mental state of your child.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with the peace of mind you were looking for. As long as your child is well loved, fed and has access to medical care, you’re doing very well. Good luck!