Generally around the world, there are about seven holidays in a year–Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Lent and Labor Day. And then there are the local holidays and festivals peculiar to each country and each locality, not to mention special holidays.
Most holidays keep us busy, from the preparation phase to the actual event and finally, to the post-event packing up chores. And even some parents with babies are not exempt from this, not realizing their babies may be subjected to too much holiday stress in the process.
So, how are babies, especially those six months old, stressed out by the holidays?
How Babies Get Stressed Out
A study sometime in 2010 done by Canadian researchers and experts on child development (which was featured on DailyMail.Co.UK) said unattended babies by busy moms even for just two minutes can experience negative stress. Accordingly, levels of the stress hormone called cortisol in babies increased when busy moms ignored them. Another study found out that such babies can be worried over the same thing the next day, prolonging the stress.
This gets even worse during crying and the baby begging for attention remains neglected. Dr. Allan Schore, practitioner at the UCLA School of Medicine, showed how over-flooding of cortisol during intense and stressful crying can actually destroy nerve connections in critical areas of the baby’s brain.
Worse is that, baby experts said repeated episodes of such stress can later lead to some health problems and also terribly bother them emotionally and mentally to the point of even altering the baby’s brain neurotransmitter system–something similar to what happens mentally to depressed adults, researchers at the Yale University and Harvard Medical School warned. [INPOSTLB]
Babies always left crying for long periods are 10 times more likely to have ADHD later in childhood, another study said. These babies are also apt to perform poorly later in school and even have anti-social problems. And it’s all because moms were too busy to attend to their babies, and that includes being so on special occasions like holidays when they get to enjoy their social lives more and decrease the attention they give to their babies.
What Busy Moms Can Do
In the modern world, moms can be so busy with household chores that they can be with their babies and at the same time still not pay them enough attention. And career moms can make the situation worse. However, there are ways to alleviate the situation and let babies enjoy more of mom’s time. Aside from spending more times with their babies as much as possible:
- Sleep with their babies at night instead of putting their babies in a separate bed.
- Eat meals with them or feed their babies themselves instead of having the baby sitter do it.
- Make use of modern social media technology that can enhance audio-visual communication when moms are away from their babies.
To avoid prolonging the negative effect of holiday stress, or any sort of stress for that matter, moms should focus on their babies. It might be best to delegate things that will take so much time off their babies, or find a way to manage their time better.