What Is It That Babies Do Naturally?
Have you ever just sat and watched a baby? They are the most amazing creation really. Their little brains and bodies come out perfectly formed and yet they still have so much growing, learning, coordinating, changing and protection still needed.
A few things that we would all agree on that babies do the most… Sleep, eat, and wee and poo (sorry to be so crude) and movement, but in the early days this is their main activities, why? Because, they have just launched into a new world that is not as protected as previously and their bodies need to function differently and the most basic of activities that all of our bodies need to do is sleep, eat (nourish) and expel (using the digestive system in its entirety). These 3 activities will pop up throughout lots of posts when we discuss different age groups (some more than others).
So you’re thinking “Ok, now what?” Well, what happens when these things are not happening as they should? Sleeping baby anyone?????? How many people do you know that complain that babies just do not sleep. There could be a multitude of reasons. How many people discuss that their babies just cannot feed properly, will or won’t eat, and the matter of expelling anything not needed by the body… well everyone has heard or told a funny story about an exploding nappy or being peed on.
It’s when all of these things are not quite right that babies will let us know. They will either be very upset and crying all the time or very under-responsive. A calm baby is another thing altogether and when they are the parents usually know, it’s the other extremes that I think show the issues.
Babies need sleep and a lot of it. Lots of babies don’t sleep or can’t. So when babies are not sleeping it is quite likely a few things need to be considered.
– We all live on circadian rhythms (when we are awake, when we are asleep and anything in between and these are based on signals from the sun and moon that our bodies pick up on) and babies will either naturally settle into this or they will need some assistance. No, you do not need to take your baby camping to synch them to their circadian rhythms, however, there are countless amazing books that are actually based on the science of how much a baby needs to sleep and how to help them. If a baby does not sleep well or enough you will notice issues in their appetite i.e. less sleep, less intake of food, and their mood i.e. happy, content, very unsettled, grizzly. Their ability to poo and wee may also be affected in various ways.
One thing to remember when our bodies are sleeping regardless of age, many vital functions happen. For babies brains, the neurons that wire together and fire together will only become stronger with more quality sleep (based on recommended amounts), the right hormones are released to assist with digestion and expelling of wee and poo. Sleep is important and so is something that needs to be considered. To all those who don’t agree with this, yet babies adapt and can fit into ‘our adult lifestyles’ however, if there any pre-disposing family history or sleep, digestive, learning, movement, attention issues, babyhood is the best time to start considering healthy sleep patterns!!
This can be so varied for babies and it doesn’t matter whether they are breast or bottle fed, the fact of the matter is that they need to eat. They will eat as much as they need unless other things affect them such as overstimulation, constipated, tired etc. When it is time to start solids always consider the food that has the highest amount of nutrition and the least amount of processing to ensure a healthy digestive system and also the number of nutrients their little bodies and brains will be getting.
Weeing and Pooing (toileting for the all other ages!)
Babies do this a lot and for good reason their cell turn over is fast, they are growing and changing so fast during this stage that the amount of food and sleep will mean that all the rest is just as much, sometimes everytime they eat or move they will need to go in the early days, but it is their little body growing. It is when they are not peeing or pooping enough, it is causing them pain, or the wrong colour that we need to look further.
Tiny new babies don’t move so much but as the weeks move along they move more and more. Their movements are quite jerky and impulsive to start with like a hit to their own head by accident, but as they realise they have limbs and can move their limbs, these movements become more coordinated and their development progresses fast, they need to move and when not sleeping they will move as the need, even when sleeping (in different parts of the sleep cycle) they will move too. Movement is something that is so important throughout our lives and the quality of movement once it develops can provide many details of what is going on in different ages and stages of our lives. Movement helps to calm or speed up the different nervous systems, it helps the digestive system to work effectively, it assists the lymphatic system to be activated, it moves blood and therefore oxygen and nutrients to our muscles, brain, bones and organs, it helps with detoxification and elimination. It is something that we innately need.
As you can see there are specific activities that tiny babies do a lot and why they are important, however on a deeper level these 4 main activities that babies are driven to do are things that we need to do our whole lives and therefore understanding the fundamentals of these basic activities and why they are important and how they can tell us whether we are healthy or not are important to know about. If you are at all concerned about any of the above or anything else in regards to your baby please ensure that you speak to your treating doctor, early childhood nurse, other treating professionals involved.
Contact us today to get started, have a great day.