You may or may not know by now that I am a part-time photographer and a full-time mom. While I have always had an interest in the human body, I have found it so fascinating over the past year and a half to observe the development of a baby to a toddler. I have thought time and again about how some of the characteristics we are born with are perhaps quite important to remember.
Babies and toddlers are as holistically balanced as it gets, mostly unmarred by society and modern conventional wisdom. They are born with incredible reflexes and attributes for survival and growth. We can learn so much from them and absolutely should take clues on how we were originally created to live on this planet.
ONE | Squat More, Move More
Have you noticed that once babies learn to stand and walk how much they bounce and squat? It was probably over 100 squats a day for Braxton. Not only are babies consistently squatting, but they are moving constantly. They rarely sit, while we sit so often that we now believe our chronic non-movement is a silent killer. If you missed my previous post on squatting, check it out here. Also, take a look at the poster above from Ben Greenfield Fitness that shows practical ways to stop sitting and start moving.
TWO | Eat What Your Body Needs //
Listen to your body's cues for what kind of real food it craves. There have been studies conducted on toddlers to see what kinds of foods they reach for without any prompting. They always take the food containing the nutrients their body is deficient in. This is because how real food tastes is linked to its nutritional value. We crave the flavor of certain foods because our incredibly amazing bodies link taste with nutrition. The book The Dorito Effect talks about this idea more in-depth.
THREE | Try New Things //
We feel invincible when we are young, so trying new things is pure thrill and nothing to be afraid of. After years of experience, this invincibility subsides, but often it leaves us stuck in ruts or comfort zones that are hard to break out of. Toddlers know trying new things is exciting - they have no concept of failing or being amateur - so they do it often. We, on the other hand, carry our life-long baggage of experience with us, often hindering our continual growth. Let's get out of our comfort zones, try new things (even rather ordinary new things), remain open to new ideas and fresh experiences that will grow our minds in ways we least expect.
FOUR | Sleep + Take Naps If You Need To //
Babies and toddlers need plenty of sleep for proper development. While many of the sleep benefits to babies are different than for adults, sleep continues to be important at any time of your life. While it can vary greatly from person to person, listen to your body and take a nap when the baby is sleeping or go to bed a little earlier without doing the dishes and don't feel guilty about it. You're likely to be much more productive with the extra sleep. There is a ton to learn about sleep and how the quality of it matters as well as the quantity.
FIVE | Eat Dirt //
As a naturally occurring substance on this planet, dirt is much more valuable than we often give it credit for. For goodness sakes, with just dirt, sunlight and water, a little bitty seed becomes food for us to eat! That is pretty powerful stuff. It may take some effort to reframe your thinking, but know that antibacterial is a more harmful enemy than dirt is. I think we are missing the boat when we spray everything to death to get rid of so-called germs when in fact kids need dirt to be healthy.
SIX | Hug Often //
We all need physical contact from the early age of infancy through our adult years. Whether or not you admit it, you absolutely DO at some point or another as part of staying balanced physically and emotionally. When a baby is born the physical touch of his skin on his mom's skin is critical for baby's development and for mom's recovery. Again, seriously powerful stuff. As adults we too need hugs to stay healthy because they reduce stress, ease depression, and boost the immune system, to name a few reasons.
SEVEN | Remain Enthusiastic //
Babies and toddlers love smiling and laughing. They are whole-heartedly enthusiastic about everything (even when they are crying)! Yes, we are much more jaded and smiling and laughing just isn't always what we want to do all the time... but it's important. Not only for the endorphin rush it promotes, but for many other healthy benefits as well.
Hi. I'm Suzanna.
I like running outside, eating real food and crafting beautiful images. I am captivated by documenting everyday life–revealing what authentic, adventurous and lovers of life we all are.