Like adults, infants have needs too. They need baby clothes, Infant Shoes, food, water etc. Besides the obvious needs of an infant, there are so some very important needs they have that they can’t communicate effectively. It’s up to the parent or guardian to decipher what the child might need. Thankfully, there are experts in the field and researcher who have done extensive studies to decipher what the basic and important needs of infants are. So as a parent or guardian of an infant, all you need to do is follow the rules and learn from what others have done.
An Infant’s Nutritional Needs
Nutrition is one of the basic human needs. For a baby, they get the bulk of their nutrition from breastfeeding. The human breast milk is the best source of nutrients for infants and so experts suggest that babies are breastfed for the first six months after birth. The human breast milk has a combination of high-value nutrients that strengthen the human immune system and promote and sustain growth and development in an infant. The breast milk can be a source of nutrition even after 6 months and up to 18 months. So when it comes to meeting the nutrition needs of a baby, breast milk is the best bet. However, if a baby cannot have access to breast milk for one reason or another, there are other alternatives that are good and provide all the nutrients to make a healthy infant.
Components of Breastmilk
Fats: Fats are high in energy and provide energy to the infants when they feed. Even for adults, there are some fat based diets like the ketogenic diet which focuses on getting all the nutrients the body needs from fat as opposed to from carbohydrates. Baby formula also contains lots for fat to provide the infant with all the fat they would have gotten from breast milk. Fats have been shown to be important for sight and brain development. Also because babies have really small stomachs, they need a high-fat diet from which they get most of their energy.
Protein: The body needs protein to grow. As a kid, I remember my mum always emphasizing that my siblings and I eat our high protein foods so that we can grow faster. There is a lot of protein in the human breast milk which is great for the growth of babies.
An Infant’s Physical Needs
One of the most obvious needs of an infant is their physical needs. A baby needs help with everything from bathing to eating and being clothed. As they get older they start to be able to do some physical activities themselves like sitting up straight, crawling, walking and eventually talking, It’s amazing to see the physical development of a child and watch them grow. Sometimes it’s like they grow an inch overnight. Taking proper care of a child and meeting their nutritional needs makes their physical development go more smoothly.
An Infant’s Language Needs
Learning to talk is one of the major milestones of a child’s development. As an infant, the baby cannot talk but instead makes sounds and cries or laughs to communicate emotion. But as they get older, they start to develop language skills and start to say things like mama or papa. At 18 months they should be able to say other words like other people’s names or answer “I’m fine” to the question “how are you?”.
An Infant’s Social Needs
What a child learns from its immediate social environment stays with them all their life. The way they interact with people, how they perceive situations etc are all determined to a large extent by their social development. The importance of the social environment to a child’s development is discussed more extensively in the Nurture vs Nature argument. But the first social interactions of a child include them mimicking your emotions like smiling back at you, smiling when they see a familiar face or choosing to be with one person over another. Also learning social cues like knowing they shouldn’t touch something just based on the expression on a parents face.
An Infant’s Emotional Needs
As humans, our emotions are a huge part of us and are also a driving force in a lot of things that we do. Emotional needs mostly go hand in hand with social needs. The need to be seen, help or carried is both an emotional and social need of a child. When a baby is shown lots of positive emotions they develop a sense of trust and also learn to reciprocate and offer emotional comfort to others. Like a one-year-old baby comforting a crying newborn baby is a display of the one-year-olds understanding of emotions and the emotional needs of others.
Conclusion: Activities to Encourage Development Needs
It is important to always surround babies and infants with positive activities and positive emotions so they pick up on these. For example, kids that grow up in violent homes pick up bad traits and it sometimes stays with them all their lives and affects their human relationships as adults. This is why the needs of a child should be met in the best way possible and children should always be kept in a positive environment. As for the physical needs of a child, they should always be met and when you should always pay attention to what is going on with them in order to read their emotions, especially when they cannot express with words what is going on.