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Your Baby Is More Aware Than You Think

doctor adjusting babys neckMost people think that babies are blissfully unaware of what’s going on around them. They think infants don’t remember anything until they get to be a few months old and into their early years but that’s not true. Just because little ones are sitting in their carrier, eating Cheerios in their high chair or being rocked to sleep doesn’t mean they aren’t keenly aware of what’s going on around them.

What Studies Show

According to various studies of child development and neurological development, babies are truly aware of everything from preconception through the labor process through delivery. In those early minutes, hours, days, weeks and months, babies are aware and are forming their understanding of the world based on those experiences.

How Babies Respond to Stress

A baby might not be able to fully understand why something is stressful but they can perceive that stress, particularly if Mom or Dad are feeling it.

We have patients who say that every time they argue their baby starts crying. Why is that? Babies are so intimately connected to their parents and family so when you put them in an environment of stress they pick up and perceive that through their nervousness. That then can create an overdrive situation where the baby is living in an anxious state.

What happens is they can’t get the sleep they need; they tend to be clingy; they don’t feel safe, and their body’s digestive system and cardiovascular system change the way they work. There are all these different things that show up and it’s a product of that baby’s body not feeling safe in its environment. Whether it’s a perceived threat or a genuine threat, the body doesn’t know the difference.

Masking Nonverbal Cues That Babies Need

The pandemic also has created another major challenge–it hasn’t allowed babies to see the faces of all their loved ones due to mask-wearing. For many babies being born the only unmasked faces they’ve seen are of their mom and dad.

Babies also likely haven’t seen their grandparents’ faces or a friend of the family’s face. Then every time they go out into public or a doctor’s office babies see masked faces, which can be scary. Consider how humans figure out social cues and human behavior and connection through conversation. It’s by looking at the face and seeing expression. Is this person angry, sad or happy?

Those and other emotions are all spoken through nonverbal cues that come through facial expression. Because of the masks babies and young children may be thinking, “Is this a stranger? Is this person someone who will be kind to me or will harm me?”

We see many kids who have this anxiety or a social inability to be around anyone other than Mom or Dad. It’s stressful for parents because if your child is only comfortable with you or one of you that’s a huge added challenge.

The good news is chiropractic care can help calm a baby’s nervous system so they won’t be as fussy or colicky–good for Baby and Mom and Dad.

Book an appointment today!

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