As parents, we know the first five years of a child’s life are the foundation for developing knowledge, skills, behavior and emotions. One of the first ways babies experience the world is through touch – making their tender, delicate skin, and its care, so significant to their overall health and development. The grooming rituals created during this formative time translate into a healthy lifestyle for the future.
Touch is your baby’s most highly developed sense at birth, and was the first sense her brain registered in the womb. The act of touch is more than gentle expression of love, it allows you to reassure, nurture and build your baby’s cognitive and physical strengths – instrumental to a robust immune system.
“Being touched and caressed, being massaged, is food for the infant. Food as necessary as minerals, vitamins, and proteins.” Frederick Leboyer, M.D.
Massage can influence your baby’s hormone levels, elevating oxytocin, to help her respond positively to stressful situations. The result is a stronger immune system that is more prepared to handle the challenges in our environment today.
More easy tips for reducing chemical exposure and boosting immunity:
- Wash hands! Simple and still the most effective preventative against the spread of germs. Natural antibacterials such as thyme oil and orange extract offer added benefits – but a good, all natural soapy scrubbing using warm water is more than sufficient!
- Eat a rainbow! Colorful foods are high in antioxidants — powerful nutrients that help fuel the body’s immune system.
- Go barefoot! Shoes harbor pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Take shoes off outside to reduce indoor pollution.
- Choose all-natural products. But, if you can’t, skip the baby shampoo and just use water and a washcloth. Pediatricians have long recommended plain old water as the simplest method for keeping baby clean. If you don’t have access to products that are free from harmful chemicals, then skip them.
As with all healthy habits, creating good grooming routines during the first five formative years have lasting positive benefits for both body and mind. What we teach our children when they are young, is our gift to them as they flourish.