Baby Brain Development
These first years are a very important and pivotal time for a developing young brain. This intense period of brain growth and network building happens only once in a lifetime. We as parents have a brief but golden opportunity to help our babies stimulate the formation of brain circuitry. Here are some fascinating facts that researchers have discovered:
- Love. First of all, remember love and affection are very real needs. Your baby is never trying to manipulate or control you, she simply has a biological need for your love...never deny her your tender affection. This unconditional love also creates a strong self-esteem and increased development of brain circuitry.
- Talk to your baby often with a kind voice, a wide range of vocabulary, and a lot of expression. Your voice is her favorite sound (she has heard it since before she was born).
- Respond to your babies requests (cries) without hesitation. This teaches her that she can communicate with other people and gives her a strong sense of trust and emotional stability.
- Touch your baby. Researchers discovered that premature infants that were massaged grew faster, cried less, and were released earlier from the hospital than those who weren't.
- Encourage imitation. Your baby is constantly analyzing you and figuring out ways to mimic your voice and facial expressions.
- Let your baby experience different surroundings: go for walks, take her places, and show her the sites!
- Let your baby explore different textures and temperatures (not too extreme, of course). Provide a safe environment for your baby to explore. She also needs time to discover things for herself.
- Read books: even though your baby can't follow the story, she loves the pictures and the sound of your voice.
- Play music for your baby (Mozart's music has been found to stimulate the same neurons in the brain that are later used for mathematics).
- When you get frustrated because your baby keeps dropping objects or pours the box of cereal on the floor, remember, she is trying to figure out how the world operates.