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Caring for Baby

By Harry01 | Repairing The Broken World | 23 Jan 2021

The arrival of the first child requires significant adjustments within the home. Loss of sleep, exhaustion, guilt at not being better parents, continuous responsibility in caring for a baby, economic pressure from additional expenses, and interrupted social life force a young couple to take a giant step towards adult responsibility. After giving birth to a child, the mother undergoes a major shift in hormone function, which inevitably affects her emotionally. Most experience a sense of well-being, joy, and love for the new baby, but others have an opposite experience. Some have feelings of depression and disillusionment. The mother's body becomes exhausted in giving birth, and she is immediately faced with the continuous responsibility of caring for the newborn. The arrival of the child marks the final transition to maturity and adult responsibility.

At birth, the infant is the most helpless of all newborn creatures. When the infant's body is no longer protected by the warmth of hi mother, he begins to cry. The crying establishes his breathing, and his body is separated from that of his mother's by the severance of the umbilical cord. Birth is a critical moment for the infant since his own organs must be activated immediately to support his own body.

Many doctors recommend that babies be breast-fed. The baby learns to associate food with love and cuddling. Both mother and baby profit from the intimacy and warmth that comes through natural feeding. Until recent years, doctors suggested that babies be placed on a schedule, but now more are suggesting that the baby be fed on demand. Some mothers who are exhausted physically and emotionally may be unable to supply sufficient food for the infant.

It is important for the husband to help with household responsibilities upon the arrival of the baby. The mother needs additional rest in order to permit her body to return to its strength. The husband now has become a father which assigns to him a new role in providing and caring for his family. In addition, the husband needs to recognize that his wife has become a mother and has assumed additional responsibilities and a new relationship. No longer will she be able to devote her full attention to him.

Growth and Development of the Infant
The first few years of a child's life are filled with new learning experiences. First the infant must learn how to express his hunger and comfort needs. Crying may work so successfully that he learns to use this communication technique in gaining additional attention. Each child develops differently, but all experience continual growth and development and need adequate nourishment.

The newborn infant had experienced a stable environment before birth. Now he comes to depend on the people in his new environment to meet his basic needs. He cannot tell those around him what he needs; he can cry and his crying must be interpreted. At first, the infant does not have a hunger rhythm since prenatal nourishment was continuous through the placenta. After two or three weeks, the hunger demands begin to form a more regular pattern. The infant sleeps or dozes approximately eighty percent of the time after birth, but later drops to about sixty-eight percent. He will awaken every two or three hours but eventually will have fewer and shorter waking periods during the night than during the day. Pain, discomfort, and hunger cause the infant to awake and express his need by crying.

During the first several months, infants are completely dependent on adults, but by their second birthday, they have developed a degree of independence which marks their entrance into childhood. They are able to sit, stand, walk, and manipulate objects at will. They have improved their ability to communicate needs and wishes to others. During these two years, the foundations of many of their behavior patterns and attitudes are developed.

With the passing of the second birthday, babies have often been described as " terrible twos." Previously they have been helpless and dependent and thus more easily managed. As they develop ability to do things for themselves, they are less easily managed and more resistant to adult help. They have a strong desire to explore but do not have knowledge of possible harm that may come because of certain actions. The mother must give constant supervision to the developing child, allowing him to develop independence while protecting him from injury.

The second year is very significant in the developmeng of children. Usually their experiences are not as happy as those during the first year. They desire to exert independence and resent interference in their activities. They show their resentment by being balky or having temper outbursts. Usually more discipline is exercised during their second year. Since babies cannot understand words, parents resort to spankings and scolding to communicate that wrong actions will not be tolerated.

Towards the end of the second year, another baby may be born into the home which means that the mother will have less time to spend with the firstborn. The two-year-old may conclude that he is no longer loved and may experience insecurity and anxiety. His second year is marked by frustrations, but he also experiences happy times.

Since the baby's most constant association is with his mother, his happiness and emotional responses will be determined largely by how she treats him. Her anxieties, overprotection, excessive punishment, or feeling that the baby is a burden will bring unhappiness. Her affection, evaluation of his behavior in a positive way, and fair treatment without favoritism will contribute to happiness.

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Repairing The Broken World
Repairing The Broken World

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