Baby Development Top 10 Science Based Parenting Tips
Posted Oct 10 2008 1:15pm
By Colleen Hurley, RD, Certified Kids Nutrition Specialist
Several studies over the past year have revealed a consistent message: good parenting in the first year of a babys life can have a lasting impact on child development well into the teenage years. While the definition of good parenting is loosely defined, here are the top 10 science based parenting tips:
1. Experience is the best teacher: a recent study found even as young as 11 months old, with one-on-one interaction combined with first person experience babies can acquire new skills.
2. Be Attentive: the University of North Carolina discovered that parental sensitivity and attentiveness was powerful enough to override a genetic predisposition to poor stress response.
3. Check your mood: a mothers mood can have a trickle down effect into babies sleep patterns. Studies have shown mothers who were depressed prior to or during pregnancy had babies who had chaotic sleep habits. Mothers tend to put babys needs before her own, so it is important for mothers who are depressed to discuss their mood with a physician.
4. Do the best you can: despite all the best, concerted efforts to be a stellar parent, some kids just dont behave the way you hoped. Science is even telling us sometimes all you can do is do the best you can with what you have.
5. Limit background TV: Even though your little one might not understand what is happening on your favorite show, a study found just the background noise from the TV was enough to disrupt play time- a much needed component of healthy child development
6. Provide some tummy time: here is a simpler parenting tip: allow your baby to spend a little time on their tummies every day. The lack of tummy time is correlated with cognitive, organization, and developmental delays.
7. Laugh it off: telling a joke, making a silly face, or even a game of peek-a-boo; anything bringing a giggle or a smile to your babys face can help in their acquisition of language skills, according to the Theory of Humor.
8. Allow baby to self soothe: how parents cope with a sleepless baby can have lasting effects on babys sleep patterns. After about 2 years old, providing a child with food or drink during the night can have negative affects on sleep. Allowing your baby to self soothe, or fall back to sleep on her own; can ensure many sleep filled nights to come for the whole house.
9. Nurture a special bond: a University of Iowa study found that close, mutually attentive ties between parent and child helped preschoolers regulate their own behaviors as well as better adherence to moms rules even when she wasnt around.
10. Watch what you eat: if having a child that eats healthy is important to you, several studies have shown that a mothers diet can impact a childs food preferences as early as infancy. In addition, one or more parents is a picky eater, eating a well balanced diet can help your child overcome a propensity towards picky eating habits.