As parents, we are all concerned with our children’s wellbeing. At SensoBaby, our motivation is your child’s wellbeing. ‘Wellbeing’ is a term that is used frequently: we all know it is important but what exactly does it mean?
When we are considering the wellbeing of a child we must first understand that it is not a comparative measure. Yes, we all want our children to be happy and healthy and meet developmental milestones, but children who have additional needs and challenges are also capable of achieving wellbeing, even if they do have the same abilities as their peers.
The foundations for wellbeing lie in the child’s environment and a positive start in life can come from having basic needs met, such as food, a safe home, security and comfort. Life with a little one can sometimes feel like a whirlwind of feeding, sleeping and napping schedules and pressure to have your child ‘conform’ to a schedule can often have a negative effect on the parent’s wellbeing but the reality is that there are no hard and fast rules; all children are different, some sleep or eat more than others, some settle in to a routine easily whilst others like to keep their parents on their toes! Positive wellbeing does not depend on which books your read or parenting styles you follow, but that your child knows that there is someone to respond to their basic needs and that they are looked after from a young age.
All humans have an urge to communicate and this starts from that first cry at birth. Allowing your child to communicate in whatever way they can is another major building block for positive wellbeing. We may not always understand the message but being listened to is empowering, even from the youngest age. Communication is about so much more than just making sounds or words, it is about connecting with someone else, and those early experiences of connections will help your child build relationships in the future. This is why, at SensoBaby, we try to offer children a variety of different ways to practice their communication: through art, sign language, movement, sensory exploration and discovery. We offer a chance for you to bond with your child and make connections that will last as your precious baby grows up.
Babies become attached to the people who respond to their needs and, from an early age, develop a sense of belonging. They know the people they can rely on and they begin to establish differences in relationships, understanding that Mom may react differently from Dad, who acts differently from another carer. It is through this understanding that they can make sense of their world and feel content and secure when they understand the ‘rules’ or boundaries to each relationship. They may go on to test or push those boundaries, especially as they become toddlers and older children, but this freedom to explore relationships is key to them developing their own identity; an important factor in positive wellbeing.
One of the final considerations in fostering positive wellbeing in infants and young children is helping them develop a sense of agency. All babies and children want an opportunity to ‘do it themselves’ and allowing them to try things out on their own, make choices, understand cause and effect, all contribute to a rich learning environment. Sensory play is particularly good in developing this sense of autonomy because they can explore and experiment with their environment in a safe space. At times it may be frustrating or anxiety provoking to stand back and allow them to get on with it, but as long as they are safe, they are learning and developing every time they try something on their own.
So looking after your little one in a way that suits you both, meeting their needs, embracing opportunities for communication and bonding, making allowances for them to explore their world and the boundaries within it and offering them a sense of agency, all contribute to positive wellbeing. In short, keep going Moms and Dads, you are already doing a great job!
If you want to know more about how SensoBaby classes can improve your child’s wellbeing, give us a call!