Are you a baby struggling with the debilitating effects of depression? While it is normal for all babies to be fussy from time to time, an extended period of severe sadness may be a signal of a more serious condition. Signs of baby depression include:
- Loss of interest in peek-a-boo
- Crankiness after nap time
- Not laughing at daddy’s funny faces
- Unexplained weight loss
- Withdrawal from play dates
If you suffer from one or more of the above warning signs, then keep these tips in mind to help yourself break the cycle of sadness and get back to living like a normal, happy baby again:
Pinpoint the Root of Baby Depression
Oftentimes, the first step in overcoming depression comes in identifying the underlying source of sadness. Common triggers of baby depression include the cancellation of Blue’s Clues, frequent tummy aches and experiencing a “breakup” with your pacifier. Regardless of the cause, once it is identified steps can be taken to move past the issue.
Find Ways to Destress
Excessive stress is often a contributor to depression. As such, finding ways to simplify and de-stress after a long day in the crib can do much to help minimize the effects of depression. Tips for relieving stress include:
- Getting 20 minutes of good crawling in every day
- Turn off your toy cell phone when not in the high chair
- Cut back on the juice boxes (eat less sugar)
- Find time to play with your favorite toy each day (even if it’s just for 5 minutes)
- Don’t beat yourself up over poopy diapers
Avoid Negative Thinking Habits
Thinking negatively often leads to something called a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you become preoccupied with the idea that mommy isn’t going to give you a cookie or handful of Cheerios after dinner, then this anxiety may result in loss of appetite. As such, failure to eat your stringed peas may force mommy to skip dessert because she thinks you are too finicky. Changing thought habits to a more positive approach can do much to deter self-pity and other detrimental feelings.
Set Goals to Build Self-Worth
Boosting self esteem by setting and achieving goals is a great way to help overcome baby depression. Good examples of small, manageable goals include learning to say “da-da,” teaching yourself to walk and getting that square block through the square hole in that toy you have. When setting goals, be sure each goal is reasonable. For example, setting the goal of “learning to drive a car,” while well intentioned, is probably going to end unsuccessfully given the fact that you are a baby.
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