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Every child is influenced by the environment he grows in. He learns from how he lives and it is the surrounding he thrives in, that makes him the person he is. I have jotted down a few lines by Dorothy Law Nolte, which bring out the true essence of raising kids.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. If they live with praise, they learn to appreciate. If they live with fairness, they learn justice. If they live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If they live with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If they live with security, they learn to have faith. If they live with sharing, they learn generosity and if they live with acceptance and friendliness, they learn to love and make the world a better place to live in.
- Dorothy Law Nolte


As new parents, you probably would want to give your baby all the comforts, the most expensive toys, and all the fancy things available. However, does your child really need all of that? Some supplies are good to have, but not really necessary. Simple things like love, affection and attention are the most important things your child really needs to thrive and grow. Your care and affection will give your baby a secure base, which will allow him to grow to his/her full potential and explore the world. Here are a few factors that play a major role in the growth and development of a child.
Unconditional love
Parents with their baby
Although it seems very obvious, unconditional love is something every child needs. Love does not mean only displays of affection, it goes way beyond that. As parents, your love has to reflect through every act, touch and word. Love is the essence of any relationship and it is love that will help your child confide in you and would imbibe in him the feeling of security. Therefore, it is important to convey to them that you love them, in spite of their bad, or good behavior, to build a strong emotional bond. The point is to not let your child feel that your love is dependent on their behavior.
Basic care and needs
Mother sleeping with baby
Apart from all the emotional support you give your child, you also have to care for his basic needs. Like, try to interpret his actions and voices. This will enable you to understand when he is hungry and about his other needs. Sleep is another important need of your child. While your baby sleeps his brain cells are working at an optimum level to make important connections, which acts as a pathway to his learning and thinking process. So, make sure he has enough sleep. His diet too, has to be given top priority as it provides all the nutrients required to grow healthily. Breast milk or formula ought to be an integral part of his diet until his first birthday.
Security and Safety
Frightened baby
Children feel insecure when their needs are not taken care of, or when they are not loved enough. Security lets your child confide in you and shelters immense faith too. When children feel secure they know whom they can trust in certain situations. This forms a deep attachment between the parent and the child, which only helps in the well-being of the child.
Apart from emotional security that a child requires, physical security is equally important. Child proofing the house for your child's safety is very important. That is not all; your child has to be supervised, so that they do not hurt themselves and are able to explore their world safely. If you are a working parent, it is essential to find a good childcare provider for your baby's healthy development. Make sure that the childcare provider is experienced, caring and most importantly, has genuine love for children and energy to help your baby thrive.
Interaction
Mother laughing with baby
Interaction is what your child craves for at an early age. Talk to him about anything, even if you think it is silly, as it will improve his language skills quicker than usual. Every new interaction you have with your child will acquaint him to a new world of information and provide adequate sensory stimulation that helps in the development of your baby's brain. Playing (considered as the most popular form of interaction) with your kid every day will entrust a sense of security in your child and it is considered as one of the best ways to show your love for your little one.

Reading out loud is another way of interacting with your child to stimulate his imagination and improve his language skills. Remember the movie Baby's Day Out (1994). The baby tours to all those places his nanny reads out to him at night. That is exactly what stimulating a baby's imagination means here.
Encouragement
Mother playing with baby
Some toys and activities are sure to frustrate your kids, since they are way beyond his abilities. However, your child can learn a new way to accomplish the task, which only works towards his overall development. Encourage him to take up new challenges and at the same time do not forget to praise him on its successful completion, by verbal affirmation or hugging him. This will not only encourage him to take up new tasks but also learn the art of appreciation.
Discipline
Mother and daughter
It is important you give your kid all the freedom he requires, but you also need to teach him where and when to draw a line. Discipline, here, does not mean punish them or scold them, it is making him aware of rules and regulations in a loving way. By disciplining your child, you teach him one of the basic tools to succeed in life. Make sure you too stick to all rules you have set up. This will make it easier for your child to follow them without any discomfort.
So, if you thought expensive toys and an exotic bedroom decor, was needed for your baby to thrive, you are wrong. It is way more than just all of those things. The basic thing a baby needs to thrive is love. A simple hug, touch, smile, encouragement, listening to, and playing with your little one, are all forms of showing your love rather than opting for fancy things.