Did you know that 90% of the brain is developed by the age of 6. Researchers say the first 3 years are the most important in laying a foundation of a learner.
This gives encouragement to us at parents to not wait until school years to start engaging the love for learning.
Here are a few things that you can do right now to really boost the brain!
Talk to Baby; commentate daily life.
Language patterns and sounds is being laid from day one. Take time to talk to your baby. Simply say aloud what you are doing. This is HUGE for your baby’s brain.
“Good morning! Let’s sit in our chair together and drink some milk. God made your body so healthy, and it needs good food to help you grow strong. Now let’s lay down on your changing table, and get clean. This is a dirty diaper. Where do dirty diapers go? In the trash.” … and on and on.
You get the picture. It may make you feel silly to talk to an adorable little blob, but when you can, talk and explain the world around to your baby.
*Every child is weak and strong in their own areas. There is no boasting here, but when pediatricians and parents ask how my children are so far advanced in communication this is my answer. I have talked to them from day one. Filling their brain with real vocabulary, not just baby talk.
Black and White Objects
Contrasting colors are deeply impactful for brain development! Find a book, a toy, or even just draw a big black circle on a pice of paper and let them look at it during tummy time or put it on the wall. This really stimulates all areas of the brain! The more brain work they do the more their brain grows and the better they sleep! Work hard, sleep hard.
“Harry the Dirty Dog” has been a favorite book for both my children. Or the classic “Goodnight Moon”. Some pages are colored and some black and white. That was done with intentionality!
*You’ll notice babies especially like cartoons and books with characters that have big black and white eyes. It’s because their brain is craving this stimulation!
Faces are the best you! As in your face 🙂. Babies eyesight starts very short (about 6-12in, and slowly starts to grow in seeing farther). The best thing you can do is put them in your arms or sit on the floor with your knees up and prop them on your thighs at a slant facing your face. Then talk, sing, make silly faces, make sound effects, and let them just stare at you. That blank stare is far from passive! They are soaking in all the details, physics, sound patterns, and emotional cues you are giving! 10 min of FaceTime goes a long way for your brilliant cutie.
A lengthy study, that I won’t get into, showed that mirror-play increased empathy in babies and children later on.
It’s wonderful for social recognition! So take 2-3 min holding your baby up to a mirror or put a mirror by their blanket during awake time.
*They will inevitably lick the mirror. Babies learn by putting things in their mouth so be prepared for that
Last and probably most important is touch. Cuddles build neuron pathways! (Aka thought roads). The more neuron pathways you have the more thoughts you can connect, so we want those neuropaths! Isn’t God amazing that he created us to grow in a place of feeling safe. If we are stressed, neuropathy freeze. If we are safe, neuropaths open! So all those snuggles we, kisses, baby wearing is boosting your babies brain! (And also yours!)
A final note, so much more is done naturally than you realize. Please don’t turn this into a checklist or “another thing to stress about”. Enjoy your baby! And if you find this kind of information interesting than keep it in the back of your mind. But mostly remember, your love, your voice, your consistency is doing SO much for the growth of your baby.
In His Joy
Don’t forget… the Cirkles are cheering you on.