INFANT HEALTH AND NEEDS OF INFANTS
should it not be this way?
Research, shows that most of the character traits portrayed by adults are acquired during the first year of life. The child has extraordinary powers right from the time of birth that enable it to develop relevant capabilities, like speech, walking and interacting with people on its own. It is not known of an infant who was taught anything, children listen carefully, watch carefully and adapt accordingly. Our intellectual abilities, attitudes towards religion and our respect or disrespect for authority is developed during this time. Children from day one should therefore be provided with the correct environment, because they absorb everything they hear and see in their environment and become that. There is no human being who was not built from the child. Contrary to common misconceptions, a child is not born empty to be filled with what adults want, they do not owe anything they become to adults, children are never a continuation of their parents, taking for example, an African infant taken to Japan will learn the Japanese language, absorb Japanese culture and behave like the Japanese, same to any other infant transferred anywhere else.
Children below the age of three have a big thirst for their environment. They may even be unapproachable by adults. This sensitive period should be noted by parents, so that they can allow the children to have as much contact with their environment and people as possible. The human child unlike other animals is born less developed; they are born even without ability to walk on their own. Animals walk within hours. Good conditions need to be provided to ensure the child attains all faculties required to live as a complete human being. Intelligence is first developed in man like recognising things, sounds, and people, producing sounds alongside physical development like coordination of body; holding and finally walking. These are some of the major problems faced by infants
GREAT SHOCK, FRIGHT AND PAIN
At birth infants cry .It must be frightening, they do not produce a sound synonymous to comfortable beings. Some infants are bruised by medical practitioners in the process of birth. I have a mark on my upper left cheek which I sustained at birth. I know some few people too with marks they supposedly sustained at birth. It is good for mothers to seek assistance from qualified practitioners when it comes to delivery. The only sure thing is that everyone after birth is all over the mother, making sure she gets rest, ensuring she heals and gets her life back on track, no offence, but a newly born infant too has needs.
A LARGE AMOUNT OF SOUNDS
I visited a friend of mine last week after delivery of her baby. I realised that whenever we talked the little girl had a little shocked movement. Infants cannot take large amounts of noise. If possible after birth they should rest in an almost sound proof place and noises introduced little by little by conversing with the mother, a little music then continue as the y adapt. Noise shakes them. Please do not invite musicians to sing welcome to your infant. They do not need it. It’s just they can’t tell you.
TERRIFIC CHANGES IN CLIMATE
Infants after living in a womb within a body with an almost fixed temperature may have a problem adjusting to our fast shifting temperature. Infants also expose a large surface area to volume ratio to the environment; they may get cold really fast. It is advisable to keep children in warm clothing, in a room with temperatures controlled where possible. We are quickly tempted to dress our children like superstars not really caring what matters. Well please do not compare your infant with superstars unless they share age. Another temptation is for mothers to lower their little infants for extended periods into bath water. It may be better to wipe them and lower them into water very briefly.
STOMACH-ACHES AND BREATHING DIFFICULTIES
Infants having been used to getting ready nutrients from the mother, through the placenta have to adjust to digesting their own food. It usually comes with abdominal discomfort; it requires a lot of patience from the mothers and caregivers. Infants too are getting used to breathing in air into their lungs. An infant therefore should be kept away from sources of pollution, smoke and dust because these can destroy their underdeveloped lungs.
An infant should not be handled from hand to hand because there frame is delicate, their skin too is still delicate, another reason is that this may tire them due to the fact that the baby handling technique and posture vary from person to another. Some people are left handed some are right handed; some have small hands some large ones. It is also quite easy to transfer germs and disease to an infant because they are held close.Any mother with an infant will attest to the fact that after busy ceremonies ,where the infant was exchanged,from arm to arm,the infant becomes edgy and cries a lot and is hysterical. Well before you call your relatives to check whether the infant has the hereditary beautiful family toes. Check this space. Is it worth it?
TOO MUCH LIGHT
Infants after living in an airtight place may find it very disturbing when after birth we wash them, dress them and expose them outside the house waiting to see the colour of their eyes. It is like someone waking you up and blinding you with a torch.Infants need to be placed in a dimly lit room and allowed to adjust slowly to lighting
An infant needs to be helped in its first adaptation to its environment .The reverse surprises the children. They lose interest in the environment, producing the following
A child who sleeps too much to avoid the reality and shocks of its environment.
A child who is timid, shy and is attached too much to adults, this may be carried forward into adulthood making an individual who cannot make personal decisions.
A child with antisocial tendencies with a repugnance to its environment, this type of child cries a lot because it is ever bored and stressed.
Formation of a weak adult with inferiority complexes
- Early Childhood Education: The Right Brain Movement
Maria Montessori talked about the