Last updated on Jun 24th, 2015 at 03:17 pm
Starting early to develop your baby’s brain can do wonders for their mental growth in later years.
- Understand that babies are designed to learn: Normal activities, such as feeding, nappy changing, playing, singing, and an outing in the pram are all ‘educational’.
- Care for your baby: A baby needs a full stomach, a dry nappy, a comfortable environment, and love for optimum growth.
- Talk to your baby: Talking and reading to a very young baby is designed to stimulate his or her brain.
- Play music for and sing to your baby:
- Playing gentle classical music (Chopin and Mozart) and singing to or with your baby is essential for brain development. Dance to music or song with your baby in your arms.
- Go out: Any outing – even to places like the post office, bakery, park, etc., stimulates your baby’s brain.
- Stretch and massage: Babies love to move their bodies. Baby massage with pure oils and baby yoga will help calm, invigorate, stimulate, and is great for tactile development.
- Procure a play gym or activity gym: These tend to be firm favourites with babies from newborn up to about 12 months. They can consist of mobiles with parts that have crinkly, soft, scrunchy textures for baby to touch, squeeze and stroke. Some come with bright twinkling lights and bells and others make captivating, musical sounds, or both.
- Positively interact with your baby: The more positive interaction you give an infant or toddler, the more you will be helping to stimulate young brains. This stimulation causes new connections to form neural pathways and strengthens existing ones.
- Have fun with baby: Generally speaking, anything the baby thinks is fun is stimulating and educational. If your baby is having a good time, he or she is learning something important.
- Teach your baby a second language: The knowledge of a second language is vitally important to the development of your baby’s brain. Start any time before your baby is three years old as, at that age, it is easier for your child to pick up unique sounds.
- Know when to stop: If your baby starts to fuss, cry, or act bored, it’s time to stop. Over-stimulation, fatigue, or bodily needs will interfere with learning.
Avoid baby videos, DVDs, or TV shows. These do not promote healthy natural learning.