From the moment we first see their little faces and get to hold them in our arms, we want only the best for our children – including their happiness and well-being. We can influence how happy and content our children are now and in the future. Even though there’s no right way to raise a healthy and happy child, these tips may help guide you as you begin your parenting journey. Here’s what you need to do in order to raise a happy baby.
Learn to read your baby’s emotions
Your little one will let you know how he’s feeling or what he wants with his non-verbal cues like smiles, tears, coos and gurgles. It won’t be long before you’re completely in sync with your baby’s emotions. If it seems that your baby spends more time crying than smiling now, do not worry – that’s because babies are able to experience distress earlier than happiness. Your baby is likely to laugh out loud for the first time when he is about two to four months of age.
Learn how to swaddle your baby
For many babies, being wrapped up comfy is calming and reminds them of their time in the uterus. For the first four months of their life, all babies need to be swaddled, so you will need to invest in some easy-to-wrap swaddling blankets. Swaddling is a great way to soothe your colicky baby and the snugly wrapping allows him to feel warm, safe and secure. When swaddling isn’t done properly, it can pose risks for your little one which means that you’ll have to learn how to safely swaddle your baby.
Embrace the pacifier or thumb sucking
For many babies, thumb sucking is simply a continuation of a habit they have acquired before the were born. It’s perfectly natural for newborns to suck their thumbs because for them it’s an early form of communication. By strongly sucking his thumb, your little one communicates that he is hungry. Sucking also calms your baby down and makes him happy, so even though you feel the temptation to pull baby’s thumb out of his mouth, let it go for now.
Have fun with your baby
Connect with your little bundle of joy and play with him – this is the key to a happy baby. If you’re having fun with your baby, he’s also having fun. Even though there are many things that can bring a smile to your baby’s face, nothing makes him happier than you. Play creates joy, but it’s also the way your child develops essential skills that are important to future happiness. As your baby gets older, play will allow him to discover what he loves to do and eventually it will point him towards the interests he’ll have for a lifetime.
Allow your baby to be mad or sad
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t overreact to your baby’s negative feelings. It’s completely normal for babies to become nervous or clingy at times because of something in their environment. It’s important to allow your baby to get mad or sad from time to time. Children need to know that it’s fine to feel sad or mad sometimes because this is simply part of life. Let your child experience his feelings – whether they are positive or negative, and don’t rush to fix everything for him.
Be a role model to your baby
The best way to ensure that you’re raising a happy baby is to show him what it looks like to live a life full of happiness and joy. Studies have shown that young children are able to pick up on their parents’ moods quickly. This means that when the mother smiles, her baby also smiles and his brain becomes “wired” for smiling. If your baby is colicky, one of the best things you can do is to stay calm and collected, because babies pick up on their parents’ emotions as well. We know that it’s impossible to be happy all the time, but modeling a positive attitude towards life helps create a positive environment for your baby.