Here at NONA we have noticed that many families are talking to us about the increased stress caused by constantly changing circumstances over the past few years. These include changing public health orders, evacuations, financial strains, and difficulties accessing our social networks.
We recognize that this can create stressors in your family and are often asked what this can look like in the youngest members of our community and how caregivers can support them.
These stressors manifest in different ways in our little ones.
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in appetite and/or eating habits
- Loss of toileting skills
- Less motivated to try challenging activities/ less persistent
- More easily frustrated
- Less engaged with those around them (ie: less eye contact, less responsive)
- More reliant on routines and change throughout the day can be difficult
How to help your child
If your child is upset and having a hard time calming, remember to stay calm and talk in a quiet tone. Be available and model a calm state, you might consider slowing down your movements, your rate of speech, exaggerating your even deep breaths. In these ways you are guiding, teaching, and supporting your child to return to a regulated/calm state.
Providing your little one(s) with new experiences, big or small, is very helpful as well. Remember to pair them with something positive that they are already familiar with or choose an activity that you feel comfortable with. Young children sense parents’ feelings and adapt their own reactions accordingly.
Take a moment to talk about the day’s activities. What is happening now and what the next activity will be.
Get down on the floor with your child and play at their level! Snuggle and give hugs, read, sing songs, play with toys together. Have fun and enjoy your time together.
Talk about emotions. This can be done during play, making silly, sad, happy mad faces or while playing with toys or reading books.
You can also reach out to your network and ensure that you are supported and doing well.
When you should call NONA
- When any of the changes we listed above are persistent and impacting your family’s quality of life.
- After separating from you, if your return does not console your baby or toddler and they continue to be upset for long periods of time. (For no other reason other than the separation)
- And of course, if you have general developmental concerns regarding reaching milestones
How our Infant Development Program (IDP) will help your family
- One to one appointment with a professional trained in early childhood development
- In person at a location that works for you (outside your home, at NONA or in the community) or via zoom or telephone
- Family centered service
- Provide strategies and ideas for you to try with your child
- If decided together with you, we can provide screening and developmental assessments
- We work closely with your family and other professionals on your team
Resources in the community and online