Most parents would go to the end of the world and back for their kids. The majority of parents sacrifice and will do whatever they can to make their kiddos healthy, happy, and safe. Even though these parents have good intentions, they still may be setting their sweetie up for some serious issues. Sometimes the baby falls behind, and it is mom’s fault, which can be hard for some moms to accept. Every single decision she makes from the second she becomes pregnant impacts the baby in so many ways.
Once that baby is born, she will be growing and changing so quickly, she will need all the help she can get to develop normally. If the baby falls behind that does not mean she is doomed forever developmentally. There are many services who help kids who fall behind. Even though those services are often available, it is best for mom to do everything she can so that baby does not need them at all. There are things that mom’s do that they would never think would harm their baby- such as holding him too much or letting him cry himself to sleep.
The list below complies 15 of the many things that mom’s do that cause their baby to be behind. Some things moms may have no idea they are doing wrong while others will keep doing what they want to do anyway. It is up to the mom to change her ways, so her child is not impacted negatively.
15It Starts During Pregnancy
A baby can be behind before they are even born. Development starts in the womb, and if mama is not taking care of herself, she can create problems for her baby. The way mom treats her body during pregnancy can largely impact the baby. Smoking, drug use, drinking, gaining a lot of weight, not gaining enough weight, being stressed, not taking the prenatal vitamin and even not seeking out prenatal care can set the baby up for issues in the future. No mom wants to be blamed for her baby’s issues, but the truth is, she has full control over her body. Of course some things are out of mama’s control even if she does things perfectly, but we are talking about things that mama does have control of. To avoid baby being behind, mama needs to have a healthy pregnancy and ditch the bad habits.
14The Baby Is Always Contained
Some parents are more over protective than others. Although these over protective parents think they are doing the baby good, it might be the exact opposite. Mom may be hesitant to let baby explore or do things on their own. It is also common for parents like this to constantly want to hold the baby. We understand, the world is a scary place, and your intentions are clearly good, but please- give that baby some freedom. Children are meant to grow and a parent’s job is to be there as they do so. To avoid that little sweetie getting behind mom and dad need to get out of the way and let the baby try new things. Of course, these things must be age appropriate. Watching baby so they stay safe while exploring is encouraged but there is no reason to keep them from exploring their world.
13Not Strengthening The Neck
Tummy time is crucial to strengthen that cute little neck and back. Doctors advise parents to start tummy time right away. Some babies willingly participate while others would much rather not partake in the exercise. Tummy time is one of the best ways to get baby moving forward on a good developmental path. Those who practice with tummy time are more likely to meet their milestones (like rolling over and sitting up) much quicker than the babies who do not. This is all on the parents or caregivers and if they do not have baby practice, they will most likely become behind. This is a topic doc will discuss with you at every well visit for the first few months. This is a topic that may be stressful due to a potentially uncooperative baby, but it is important that baby stays on track.
12You Don't Talk To The Baby Enough
Although your princess will not say real words closer to a year old, parents should start talking to baby at the very beginning. A baby has to be talked to in order to learn how to talk. If baby is deprived of that sort of interaction, there may be a big delay in speech. This can be baby talk “goo-goo ga-ga!!” or actual sentences such as “look at big brother eating all of his broccoli!” Babies watch mom and dad to understand language. Babies start off cooing and babbling and although it does not sound like much, baby is gearing up for the big day- her first word! Maybe it’ll be mama or maybe it’ll be da-da, either way this is a big moment for a baby! If parents do not talk to baby and around baby, they cannot learn how to talk which can leave them behind developmentally.
11Ignoring The Cries
Some parents hate to hear their baby cry while others do not mind letting the baby cry it out. We know that hearing a baby crying for hours on end can drive a parent bonkers, and it is advised to put your sweetie down in a safe place and step into another room or outside for a brief moment for some air. There are many ways parents try to train their baby to sleep through the night or go down without cuddles. Most sleep training methods do not encourage mom and dad to totally ditch a crying baby. Babies who have their cries ignored then have high levels of cortisol which believe it or not can damage their little brains. Sleep training methods are not known to permanently damage the baby, but if parents and caregivers continuously ignore the babies cries it can put baby behind. Sleep training methods can result in poor sleep for baby as well, which is never good.
10Too Much Time In The Jumper
Babies need to learn how to walk at some point and with all of the gadgets on the market, many parents think those can help tremendously. The truth is some of those products can be more of an issue than a life saver. Babies who spend too much time in jumpers can end up walking later. Door way jumpers may look convenient and cute- but they can really hurt the babies development. If baby stays in a jumper for a long time it can be a recipe for disaster. These jumpers actually do not give enough support for Jr. and they are not able to learn the basics of walking on their feet. They also are not able to learn how to balance and support themselves which are two of the crucial parts of learning how to walk. Mom needs to learn to cut down the time in these types of contraptions, so baby does not get behind on walking.
9Are Toys Age Appropriate?
Babies can play with just about anything and be entertained. Although that is the case, it is best to give baby age appropriate toys to play with so that they can develop certain skills. What makes toys age appropriate are the level of difficulty the toy is, the safety, and what the child will get out of playing with the toy. It probably would not be beneficial for a six-year-old to play with a rattle and a baby to be sat in front of a video game with a controller. Every single day your baby is growing and learning, and they need to be given tasks and toys that can help their brains develop. Even giving the baby a strainer with some balls (not small enough to choke on or heavy enough to be injured by) and showing her how to put the balls in and out of the strainer is a quick way to get baby to practice an important skill. You do not need to buy all of the fancy and expensive baby toys (but if you choose to, they have many great ones!) but you also shouldn’t give the baby stuff that doesn’t help them develop skills.
8Too Much Television Time
Some parents refuse to let their child under age five watch a second of television while other parents use television to entertain their kids for several hours a day. We know that many shows help kiddos learn their alphabet and simple life lessons. We are not against television watching, but there must be a limit. Babies and young children need to exercise and sitting around watching television instead of kicking around a soccer ball or playing at the park can lead to unhealthy habits. Those who are too engaged in the television miss out on crucial interaction with caregivers and other kids. Babies who watch television often become toddlers who watch television, and those kiddos often have a harder time paying attention in elementary school.
7Not Eating The Good Stuff
Babies start off consuming breast milk or formula full time for the first six months. After that, it is up to mom and dad to introduce solid foods and make sure they are setting the baby with good eating habits. So much development happens in the first few years of life, and nutritional deficiencies can have major effects on kids. If baby is not fed healthy (swapping out banana puree for ice cream for example) it can actually affect baby’s growth. If that is not bad enough, being nutritionally deficient can cause some major cognitive problems such as reduced social skills, decreased IQ scores, reduced language development and even learning disabilities. A deficiency in one nutrient can lead to a deficiency in another nutrient. Babies need to be given all of the healthy stuff to make sure they are growing.
6Practice Makes Perfect... So Practice
They say practice makes perfect, right? Babies need dad and mom to help him practice current and future skills. Helping a baby learn to walk and then practicing it can help baby learn and trust the caregiver more. Babies need to learn and practice how to hold a spoon and feed themselves, roll over, crawl, talk, clap, and even play with toys. Some of these things they could probably pick up on their own without parental help, but parents are supposed to help baby practice these things. If baby is not laid on tummy to practice tummy time or given toys to play with mom and dad they can become developmentally behind. Parents need to take time out of their busy days to help baby practice and master the skills that are developmentally appropriate for them. Sitting across a room with something like the remote to bribe baby to crawl is a lot more important than some may think!
It can be hard to engage with baby when it does not seem like they are even aware that you are trying. Rest assured that baby is watching and listening constantly, and attempting to communicate with baby can help their development greatly. Babies learn to smile and get to a point where they are mimicking mom and dad. If a parent does not spend time making faces with their little one, then they might be putting baby at risk for falling behind developmentally. Playing peek-a-boo with your little sweetie is really important. We get it mom, you’re busy changing diapers and doing dishes- but taking time out of the day to make faces and make silly noises with baby can be helping them in the long run. Babies love to observe mom and dad, so make the time you spend with baby count!
4No Interaction With Other Kids
Social development is super important for baby. That little cutie grows super quick and they are constantly learning and building upon prior knowledge and skills. Parents or caregivers are in charge of the baby getting adequate socialization. Of course, in the very beginning, baby prefers mommy and daddy. Most babies enjoy parallel play with other kiddos. They learn to share, be patient, cooperate, and interact with other kids. This is crucial for those up and coming preschool years. Play dates are important for socialization. There are many parent child classes (gymnastics, swim, music, etc.) that can help get the baby socialized as well! Babies can grow to be overly anxious and have a harder time making friends if they are cooped up with just mom and dad- get that baby out and make her some friends!
3Refusing The Doctor's Help
Although as parents we know our babies very well, we will never be able to fill the void of a doctor. The doctor can best determine if baby is behind growth wise as well as developmentally. If mom and dad do not take baby to see the doc, they will not be able to get the help they need and fall behind further. Doctors have the capability of catching an issue or potential issue early on so that developmental issues can be avoided. Doctors talk about the baby’s nutrition, height, weight, and development as well as check out all of the body parts. There are many reasons why mom and dad do not take kids to the doctor- no insurance, money issues, laziness, and/or thinking they have it all under control. Trust the doc mama, he/she can help your baby in ways you can’t!
2Not Bringing The Stress Level Down
Parenting is not easy, whether it is your first rodeo, or you’ve added a fourth to the bunch. Sleepless nights, breastfeeding and being your baby’s primary everything can be a lot. Of course, there is stress about money, possible stress on the relationship, and juggling other kiddos. Stress levels are known to impact the baby while pregnant and even after. Stress can have a detrimental impact on baby by making her behind. Mom has the ability to change some things that make her stressed, and not all, we understand that- but being extra careful to get the stress levels down is vital. There are many relaxation techniques and even speaking up and contacting the doc can help get things going in the right direction. That baby needs and depends on you, don’t let your stress make her stressed.
1Not Giving The Baby Enough Love
We understand that parenting is stressful, and it can be hard giving your all to a baby. The truth is some parents would rather catch up on social media, leave the kids with grandma too often, or watch tv while the baby sits by himself. Skin to skin contact between baby and the parent can help emotional engagement between the two. Baby needs mom and dad’s attention to be taught, guided and shown that they can rely and trust them. Parents need to be consistent in the baby’s life and give them attention. If parents are involved from the beginning it can help baby have better social skills, improve behavior, and help significantly in the long run with school. Babies need to feel wanted and loved in order to have a good relationship with the parent. In order to keep baby from being behind, spend your free time with her to ensure she does not get behind.
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