Motherhood is a huge responsibility and I wasn’t prepared; neither the first time nor the second as both my pregnancies were unplanned. So, it wasn’t just my baby who had to prepare for the world outside my womb but me too to take care of my baby in the best way possible.
Our journey to motherhood starts from the day we conceive and never ends. We must nurture our kids not only after their birth but also when they’re a part of us. Both the phases are entirely different but require equal care. Our baby is affected by not just what we eat but, as a matter of fact, by everything, we do during those nine months.
Is eating healthy food enough during pregnancy?
It’s vital to have a healthy and nutrition-packed diet during pregnancy and even when breastfeeding. But, I believe that it is extremely vital to feed yourself and your child with good thoughts and vibes along with healthy food. Healthy food is essential for the physical growth while positive thoughts are essential for the mental development of your baby.
You must make effort towards whatever you wish to inculcate in your baby from day 1, i.e. from the day you know of your pregnancy. It might not be evident in the beginning but you’ll see it eventually.
I wanted my kids to be avid readers so I read a lot when I was expecting from pregnancy to baby care to spiritual books. The crux is to give all good things to your baby in every way possible along with nutritious food.
What is Feed IQ?
Baby brain development happens from conception itself and so whatever a mother does affects her baby directly. Feed ‘IQ’ is a relatively new term for me and literally means that a mother feeds IQ to her baby through various activities like breastfeeding, eating well, exercises, etc.
How can a mother feed IQ to her child?
Though the baby may hear their mother’s voice, they don’t understand everything and so talking to a baby might sound silly. However, it’s not. I didn’t know this 3 years back but I actually fed IQ to my baby and I can see now that it had an impact.
I used to speak to my baby like I would to a person in front of me. I read to her, shared with her my feelings, and even told her about the world. And, I am doing the same thing now with my second baby too. Talking not just develops a great bond between the mother and the baby but also plays an essential role in baby brain development.
No matter how young the baby is during pregnancy, they hear their mother and they do take in something, if not everything. When you speak, the vibrations are carried through your body to your baby and that’s how the connect builds.
Positive thoughts while breastfeeding help in baby brain development as well. I sang while breastfeeding, not for any specific reason, but somehow felt the vibrations of my thoughts might get transferred to my baby through the feed, and I wanted only good vibes to reach her.
We have a misconception that babies, infants, or even toddlers don’t understand much. But, trust me, a child, irrespective of their age, understands you, their surroundings, and even the desire to show tantrums.
Regardless of my child’s age I would applaud and encourage whenever she did something good. In fact, I even apologized to her when I felt I should. And this continues till date.
All this created a nurturing environment for my child and helped in her development overall. Your child too would feel the difference when you empathize with them or encourage them.
How to help cognitive development in babies?
90% of baby brain development happens in the early years. Hence, I started early. You can help infant cognitive development from day 1 in your child. I started with delegating small household chores to my daughter when she was around 1yo like making her throw her soiled diaper in the bin, putting her dirty clothes in the laundry bag, or simply asking her to tidy up her toys.
There are many such tasks that can be easily done with kids once they start walking. You would be surprised to see how much they enjoy doing all this. In fact, involving them in whatever you are doing works wonders on infant cognition.
I encourage my daughter to help me fold the laundry and while doing so I ask her colours, shapes, and other related things. This helps her analyze and connect the daily things with the information she has. Allowing her to be curious about her surroundings helps her to think, push her mind in unexplored directions, and become aware.
Talk to your kids about their surroundings wherever you go. Show them around, let them touch if they ask, if possible, and answer their questions as truthfully as you can. Kids understand everything, I may be repeating it, but it’s true.
Such activities helped my daughter become independent too. She is a month away from turning 3yo and she could eat by herself (all three meals) by the time she turned 2 and could attend to nature’s call in the washroom on her potty seat without my help by 2.5yo (excluding the washing part).
Remember, whatever you feed yourself, you feed your kids, during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and even after.
This post, however, would be incomplete without the mention of screentime. Parenting requires a lot of effort and no/less screen time needs much more effort. A device free environment and upbringing is not just healthy for your baby but you too. Studies show that screen time reduces two-way interaction in babies and infants which, in turn, affects greatly their brain development.
Eating nutritious food is not enough today. You need to feed your baby the right nutrition for their brain development as well. Feeding IQ helps them become independent from an early age. Babies have great grasping powers since the beginning, so make sure you provide to the best of your ability.
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