By: Tiffany Sanders, Nursery Director
Welcoming a new baby into your life can be exhilarating, exciting and also exhausting. Meeting this new little person often triggers a love you didn't know existed in you. Sleep deprivation can trigger a temper you didn't know existed. From the moment a child is born, most parents strive to provide the best care possible for their little blessing. If a baby is to thrive and grow, not only survive, their world needs to be safe, stable and loving during the first three years of life. During this critical time, children form their view of the world around them and their God. For babies, it is imperative to provide 3 basic needs. Love, Time and Safety.
Love seems to multiply endlessly for our children. It can bring out emotions we didn't even know were inside us. Whatever else you do as a parent, it is crucial to demonstrate love to our children that they can see, hear and feel. Telling them they are loved is just as important as showing them. Hugs, cuddles and one-on-one playtime demonstrates love. Demonstrating love to our child tells them they are important. Ultimately, it also reflects God's love for them.
Spending time with your baby is worth more than anything money can buy. Bonding with a child creates an intense attachment that makes us want to shower our child with love even in the difficult times. It gives us the energy to get up in the middle of the night to feed a hungry baby. It allows us cuddle a feverish and contagious infant hours on end. It helps our child feel loved and cherished. Bonding can happen the moment a child is born. However, it can also take days and weeks for some parents. Spending time with your infant creates a strong tie that is your child's first model for a loving relationship. This model can help later in life as they choose friends, a spouse and more importantly as they develop a relationship with Jesus.
Baby Safety is one of the biggest responsibilities when you become a parent. Often times, the instinct to protect a child comes naturally. Simply watch a mom at the playground. She can be cheerleader, referee, and coach all while protecting their child from flying swing sets, steep slides and other rambunctious children. Teaching children the importance of safety is vital. We won't always be at their side as they grow. Eventually, a child will need the skills to make safe choices on their own. Parents are solely responsible to keep infants safe. However, as the child grows in the first 3 years of life, we can transition to teaching a toddler to make safe choices.
God often teaches children about Himself through the love and nurturing of parents. Although parenting an infant or toddler can be overwhelming, we can rest in the knowledge it won't last forever. Children grow and mature quickly. We can help them grow and mature into healthy adults by providing love, time and safety in their lives.