Health Tips - Babies’ Nutrition and Sleep

Babies’ Nutrition and Sleep

A baby is a person who has just entered a newly-made body. That body cannot be easily controlled or coordinated which can be the cause of tremendous frustration to the baby and all around them. Babies can’t stand up and go to the fridge or walk to the bathroom or change their clothes. They have to depend on parents who aren’t mind-readers to figure out a lot.

Also a baby’s body is still undergoing rapid growth. The nerve cells grow quickly to service a continually-expanding length. The brain grows three times as large by the end of the baby’s first year!

Compare the growth of a baby or child to the growth of an adult body builder who increases comparatively little in size. Yet body builders are very careful to give their bodies high nutrition levels to help their muscles expand. Babies, however, are rarely carefully monitored for nutrition levels. Babies have very special nutritional needs to make their nervous system and other systems grow comfortably!

In my practice of over 30 years, I have rarely seen a baby that has adequate nutrition of the correct sort for their body to be comfortable. It is no surprise that these babies are crying in the night and needing to be constantly fed. I find the average baby is malnourished when I first consult their parents.

The notion of letting babies “cry it out” is often a desperate attempt of exhausted parents who don’t know of any other solution. But remember, babies are just small people! They are individuals, smarter than some adults, but nonetheless having a hard time controlling a newly-formed body. When babies do not receive the nutrition and understanding that they need, they can become very upset, releasing the adrenal hormone cortisol. In excess, cortisol is destructive of nerve cells. In other words, regularly ignoring babies when they cry could have a damaging effect on their nervous systems.

A baby is helpless and dependent on parents for their care. If a parent ignores their child’s communication or pleas for help, this can have a lifelong damaging effect on that little person which can include making them more apathetic. Babies are here for us to help and understand as best we can!

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Dr. Pepi


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