After birth, parents and caregivers will want to pay a lot of attention to their infants, soothing them when they cry, feeding them when they are hungry, changing their diapers when needed and holding them when they are awake and alert. These awake and alert times are when babies will gaze at faces, watch and track high contrast (black and white) pictures. Parents and caregivers should be aware of when babies get tired and are ready to sleep. These are the first steps to letting babies know that parents understand them and will give them what they need. They begin to connect with and to trust those who care for them.
A baby’s big job is to learn to trust someone. When babies cry they are upset about something. Some things you can solve: hunger, wet diaper, or tiredness. Other times they are just uncomfortable and need rocking, holding, soothing. Not giving the infant these things tells the baby that no one understands her or cares for him. Attending to babies’ cries is not spoiling but, in fact, is teaching babies that there is someone they can count on to help them and telling them they are safe. Feeling safe and secure is very important for babies and toddlers. Parents and caregivers need not worry about spoiling their infants during the first 12 months, the job is to respond. A warm and loving relationship will be a protection against the stress and trauma a young child may face later in life.
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