Exploration Of New Sounds
Around 4 weeks, your baby will likely start to show more interest in a variety of sounds and patterns. Help them build more lasting neural networks by exposing them to sounds from real life, rather than the pre-recorded sounds made by electronic toys. Experiment with sounds that are high-pitched, low-pitched, slow-paced, lively, soft, etc, introducing just one sound at a time.
When your baby is alert and the room is quiet, make simple sounds in their field of vision: tap on the glass, rattle your keys, snap your fingers. These everyday noises are routine for you, but theyre brand new to your baby. Try to involve your baby as much as possible, talking about what youre doing and what theyre seeing, even though they wont understand what youre saying quite yet.
Some sound-exploring ideas to get started:
- Tear or crumple up paper in front of your baby.
- Pour dry pasta into a pan, tap a spoon against a bowl, or make other common cooking noises.
- Turn a doorknob, ring a doorbell, and open or close the blinds or windows.
- Play and dance along to music.
As with other forms of stimulation, be sensitive to your babys reactions. If theyre unhappy, its time to take a break.
Massage Can Help Your Baby Grow
For instance, a landmark study by pre-eminent touch researcher Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, found that preterm newborns who received three 15-minute sessions of touch therapy each day for five to 10 days gained 47% more weight than preemies who only received standard medical treatment.
These babies also demonstrated increased motor activity and had better neonatal behavioral assessment scores, likely due to the stimulation caused by the massage sessions. And their hospital stays were six days shorter than the preemies who only received standard medical care.
Breastfeeding Or Bottle Feeding
Feeding your little one isnt just great bonding timeits also a great opportunity to get her brain working. When babies are born they can focus on a mothers face from the distance they are during breastfeeding, says Shaw. When youre feeding, youre looking at your baby and the two of you are making facial expressions back and forth. Respond and repeat your little ones coos to help her learn to form words and hold conversation. If youre bottle feeding, keep her nestled around the height of your chest to ensure shes close enough to focus on your face.
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From Conception To Age Three: An Outline Of Early Brain Development
The development of the brain begins in the first few weeks after conception. Most of the structural features of the brain appear during the embryonic period these structures then continue to grow and develop during the fetal period .19,20
The first key event of brain development is the formation of the neural tube. About two weeks after conception, the neural plate, a layer of specialized cells in the embryo, begins to slowly fold over onto itself, eventually forming a tube-shaped structure. The tube gradually closes as the edges of the plate fuse together this process is usually complete by four weeks after conception. The neural tube continues to change, eventually becoming the brain and spinal cord.20,21
About seven weeks after conception the first neurons and synapses begin to develop in the spinal cord. These early neural connections allow the fetus to make its first movements, which can be detected by ultrasound and MRI even though in most cases the mother cannot feel them. These movements, in turn, provide the brain with sensory input that spurs on its development. More coordinated movements develop over the next several weeks.22
Early in the second trimester, gyri and sulci begin to appear on the brains surface by the end of this trimester, this process is almost complete. The cerebral cortex is growing in thickness and complexity and synapse formation in this area is beginning.20,21,23
What Is My Newborn Learning
Play is the chief way that infants learn how to move, communicate, socialize, and understand their surroundings. And during the first month of life, your baby will learn by interacting with you.
The first thing your baby will learn is to connect the feel of your touch, the sound of your voice, and the sight of your face with getting his or her needs for comfort and food met.
Even at this young age, newborns are ready to learn about the world around them. Your newborn loves to look your face. Newborns can recognize and respond to mom or dad’s voice by looking alert and becoming less active. The baby may try to find out where the sound is coming from by looking around and turning his or her head.
Encourage learning with smiles, soothing sounds, and gentle caresses. When you smile and talk to your infant, your face and the sound of your voice will become a familiar source of calm and comfort. Your little one will learn to associate you with nourishment, warmth, and a soothing touch.
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Unique Activities To Stimulate Brain Development In Infants
When a baby is first born, starting from the very first days of their lives, their brains are being shaped and moulded. We all want to give our little ones the best start possible in life and a large part of that is supporting brain development in infants.
Stimulating your babys brain growth may seem as though its a daunting task, but it doesnt have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as introducing a new routine.
When your baby is exposed to an environment rich in sounds, smells, colors and movement, their brain pathways are stimulated allowing for connections to be made. In fact, babies who are stimulated often reach developmental milestones earlier than those who were not. They develop better coordination, keener senses and can develop a more positive self-image later in life.
There are several unique activities to stimulate brain growth in young babies, most are as simple as performing everyday tasks frequently.
Using Gripping Abilities To Help Babies Think Ahead
As early as seven or eight months, parents can monitor babies’ ability to grip and to plan their movements with a simple activity using three hand-held toys. Not only does this exercise have babies hone their motor skills, but it also ties in higher-order problem-solving skills.
- Gather three toys which your baby can grasp easily.
- Allow her to take one toy in each hand.
- With a toy in each of her hands, give her the third toy.
- Initially, she will likely be baffled and try to take the third toy without letting go of either one in her hand.
- As her cognitive abilities progress, she will begin to put a toy down before attempting to grab a new one.
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The 10 Best Ways To Grow Your Newborn Babys Brain
The human brain has 100 billion nerve cells, all of which are present at birth but have few links between them. Babies brains develop by creating an intricate network between these cells.
Research shows that there are certain types of experiences you can give your baby to build those lasting connections. And the good news is, theyre all easy to do.
Parents Influence May Be Key
When trying to encourage your little ones development, consider that researchers who examined Einstein and other high achievers believe certain parenting behaviors may lead to more successful adults.
Harvard Universitys Ronald F. Ferguson, PhD, and Tatsha Robertson, the authors of The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children found those influential parenting behaviors include:
- encouraging a childs independence, but intervening when necessary
- introducing new ideas and possibilities to a child
- making very strategic parenting choices based on your childs unique needs
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Stimulate Your Babys Brain Development
The brain grows through use,this means, the more they use it the more it develops. By stimulating your baby,you are growing and strengthening the brain and its connections.
The first three years of a childs life are critical forlearning and development.
Many parents ask how they can help their childs braindevelop. The best way is to actively engage your child through everydayactivities like talking, reading, and playing, as well as being there when babyfeels stress.
in an effort to boost your babys brain development Talk. Read. Sing. these three activities engage a childs brain in all the right ways.
How Do You Know You Have A Smart Baby
Its important to remember that all babies are born with potential. While your little one may indeed be a genius, there are all kinds of smarts.
Intelligence can come in many different forms, and theorist Howard Gardner even hypothesized that there are nine different types of intelligences. These include:
According to Gardner, while every human has some level of these intelligences, most people have a dominant intelligence that most significantly impacts how they interact with other people and the world around them.
As a result of their dominant intelligence, people learn best in different ways. Additionally, people excel in different areas. So, if you choose to believe Gardner, every baby is smart in their own way, and its just up to you to identify and nurture based on where their intelligences lie.
Even if you disagree with Gardners theory, lots of research has shown the earliest years of a childs life are pivotal in determining how their brain develops .
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The Importance Of Early Childhood Experiences For Brain Development
Children are born ready to learn, and have many skills to learn over many years. They depend on parents, family members, and other caregivers as their first teachers to develop the right skills to become independent and lead healthy and successful lives. How the brain grows is strongly affected by the childs experiences with other people and the world. Nurturing care for the mind is critical for brain growth. Children grow and learn best in a safe environment where they are protected from neglect and from extreme or chronic stressexternal icon with plenty of opportunities to play and explore.
Parents and other caregivers can support healthy brain growth by speaking to, playing with, and caring for their child. Children learn best when parents take turns when talking and playing, and build on their childs skills and interests. Nurturing a child by understanding their needs and responding sensitively helps to protect childrens brains from stress. Speaking with children and exposing them to books, stories, and songs helps strengthen childrens language and communication, which puts them on a path towards learning and succeeding in school.
When children are at risk, tracking childrens development and making sure they reach developmental milestones can help ensure that any problems are detected early and children can receive the intervention they may need.
Learn more about supporting early childhood experiences:
Simple Activities To Stimulate Babys Brain
- Build Trust When you hold your babies, speak to and smile at them.
- Rock Rock your babies gently from side to side and sing or speak to them.
- Make a Variety of Sounds Snap your fingers, clap your hands and make other unusual sounds in different places around your baby.
- Make Facial Expressions Show your baby different facial expressions you can make.
- Play Peekaboo Gently play a game of peekaboo.
- Show Your Baby a Mirror This is something that can be done daily.
- Give an Infant Massage Starting from the feet, gently massage your little one, naming the body parts you are massaging as you go.
- Cycle Their Legs Slowly and gently move your babys legs in a cycling motion. Soon your baby will be able to perform this motion on their own.
Stimulating the brain development in infants is an important part of having a new baby. Of course, most parents want their children to have the best start possible in life and will do anything to make that happen.
There are several simple ways to stimulate your new babys brain and help them to grow. While it may seem like a complicated and daunting task at first, it can be as simple as gently cuddling, making eye contact, playing with them, bathing them, introducing them to new smells and talking to them.
Your baby is only a baby for a short period of time so many sure you are spending time engaging with them and supporting their brain development at every chance you get. Their future depends on it.
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Being Responsive And Sensitive Parents
Mothers who have fallen in love with their children know how to take care of them. This affectionate, cordial attention invites children to take the initiative and not close themselves off in fear. With that love and support, they feel called to explore their abilities.
It is an exchange of information, a true conversation, a serve and return like in tennis. Through this back-and-forth communication, neural connections are created and a healthy brain architecture is built.
All of this is converted into neurological development, and social, cognitive, and health development.
Smart Babies: Toy Tips
While experts agree that toys can be a great way to help foster the growth of your baby’s brain power, the sheer number of companies hawking for a parent’s attention can leave you dizzy with indecision.
Sandra Gordon, mother of two and author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products, says the key is to choose both toys and activities that track with your child’s natural biological stages of development. When you do, she says, you’re speaking a language your baby can understand.
She also recommends simple toys that are age-appropriate so they don’t frustrate your child. Infants, she says, are most interested in movement and sound, so shaking a rattle or a key ring will stimulate them. As they get a little older, she recommends textural toys they can touch and squish in their hands, such as stuffed animals.
“By 9 months of age, play with your child with shape-sorting toys and puzzles and hide another toy inside a nesting block to see if your baby can find it. This adds the element of surprise and builds on the concept of object permanence,” says Gordon.
Indeed, experts say any toys that stimulate curiosity, rely on interaction between your baby and the object, or use colors or shapes to intrigue or teach can be a big plus.
At the same time, you also don’t want to overwhelm your baby with more than their biology is ready to absorb. “It’s key to plan activities that engage your baby at every developmental point without overdoing it,” says O’Donnell.
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