What Babies Can Teach Adults About Living a Healthy Life
Published on: May 06, 2020
Learning is a two-way street. If babies learn from adults so can adults too. Here are some lovely lessons for adults to learn from babies.
By Henrik Olofsson
Although babies are highly dependent on having adults around as they grow up – to raise, feed and protect them – learning should not just be a one-way method. If parents pay enough attention and spend a little more time observing how babies navigate through life, they could learn there are some key situations and elements that babies instinctively handle really well. They often handle it a lot better than adults would, in a similar situation.
Here are 14 lessons that we can learn from babies to see healthier routines, habits and behaviors in adults.
1. EAT ONLY WHEN HUNGRY
Most adults gravitate towards food as a reward, comfort or activity when procrastinating or bored. It’s nice to see babies being less attached to emotions when it comes to eating.
2. KEEP NUTRITION SIMPLE
Babies prefer to eat similar foods on a daily basis, making meal preparation easy. By eating mostly the same foods and without too much variety at each meal, you will also experience “sensory-specific satiety”. Meaning that when you eat the same foods all the time, they may become less appealing, so you’re less likely to overeat.
3. LAUGH A LOT
If you are a parent, you know that there’s no better feeling than making your child laugh. This laughter often spills over to yourself and you quickly realize the positive emotions that come with laughing. This is something adults should strive to do more on a daily basis.
4. LEARN NEW THINGS
From the most basic instinct-driven behaviors to more motor skill dependent tasks, babies learn something new every day. The cognitive and sometimes physical challenge and the reward you get from learning new things is heavily underestimated and under-utilized in adults.
5. EXPLORE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
For a baby, a lot of things they experience are being done and seen for the first time. Therefore, it’s natural that they have a lot to explore. But it’s the curiosity and attentiveness babies have in every sound or object that they encounter that adults could learn from. Let’s view the world with a little bit more curiosity.
6. SLEEP A LOT
It goes without saying, babies sleep a lot and no one would ever try to limit or interfere with that need (especially parents!). So why is it that many adults don’t seem to be worried about their own sleep? Why would the importance of quantity and quality of sleep be neglected as we age? Of course, it shouldn’t; there’s a good reason why we (should) spend a third of our life sleeping, so it’s about time adults take sleep seriously and get more of it!
7. KEEP MOVING
If a baby isn’t sleeping, she’s constantly moving. Of course, a growing baby differs from adults in terms of physical needs but the takeaway is not to get stuck in a chair for too long. Try to get your movement as early in the day to set the pace.
8. LIMIT SCREEN TIME
When you spend time with children you realize they are quite easy to entertain (anything goes for a toy as long as it makes sound and they can manipulate it). By observing babies and comparing them to most adults, we realize how easy it is to spend the majority of our awake time glued to a screen -we miss the reality happening right in front of us.
What’s the most effective way of learning new things? By playing. Babies are masters at being creative and breaking structure and rules. Adults should copy and dare to think outside the box, break rules more often and thereby discover new ways of thinking. And you know what? By playing you’ll have more fun overall.
10. TRY NEW THINGS
Babies love to copy what adults do and are not shy to experience how things feel and work, both good and bad. This ‘all-out-attitude’ to try new things is something adults can learn from and adapt, both in business and life. If you see something that looks legit; try and test it and see what’s working and what isn’t. This is a great way to find better solutions and ideas.
11. BE CONSISTENT
Babies love to repeat the same tasks over and over again, as a natural part of development. Adults can learn that if we want to live a healthy life, we need to form behaviors that support the life we want. We need to be consistent in our behaviors to create healthy, long-term habits. In other words, we need to be consistent in our actions if we want to improve and become better or healthier.
12. SQUAT TO INVESTIGATE THINGS
Although babies clearly have different mechanics and body proportions than a full-grown adult, their way of constantly deep squatting (without letting the spine collapse) throughout the day gives the ankles, knees, hips, and core the stimulus they need to move well. For parents, encourage your kids to keep squatting deep, and you should too.
13. HAVE REGULAR EAT AND SLEEP TIMES
To keep a baby happy and calm throughout the day, having regular and predictable patterns is crucial. This means sticking to regular routines of food and sleep. If adults protect their eating and sleeping times the same, you’ll see a great increase in productivity and much healthier eating habits too.
14. LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Perhaps the biggest lesson a baby can teach an adult is to live in the present and enjoy the small things. For babies, what matters is only here and now; and you can see this by the sudden switch from crying to smiling in a blink of an eye. This should work as a great reminder for adults that sometimes we all need to “stop and smell the roses” and appreciate what we have, here and now.
About the Author
Henrik Olofsson, a native of Sweden and Bangkok resident since 2010, is the proud father of Linnea (born in December 2017). Whenever he’s not learning life-lessons or playing with his daughter; you can find him at his personal training studio; HAUS No3 (in Phra Kanong), where he often trains other parents that want to live a healthy and happy family-life.
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