Building A Baby Brain
Just imagine one hundred billion neurons (a cell in the functional unit of the nervous system) along with one trillion glial cells (any of the cells making up the glia) and all of this comes from a baby’s brain. Even though babies are born with all the neurons they will ever need, the connections between the neurons are just waiting to be made.
Brand New Brain
Have you ever heard the sound of a newborn? They cry or make little sounds and this is how they communicate. Usually they cry to tell you when something is wrong (they are hungry, cold, tired etc.). Infants are learning about their language long before they learn to speak it. Between birth and high school most people will learn 45,000 words. On average, that is about 17 words per day.
75% of a baby’s brain develops in their first six years. A newborn’s mental circuits will eventually recognize their father’s voice or their mother’s touch. As the brain develops it’s creating, strengthening, and discarding connections among the neurons. As you can see babies are born very intelligent but most connections are made during the first ten years.
Nurture Their Neurons
Love and care
A baby needs to be loved and cared for at a young age. Nurturing him/her can give this child a largerhippocampus (it belongs to the limbic system and plays an important role in the consolidation of information.) Babies communicate by crying, using different sounds, motions, and facial expressions. When a caregiver responds to their needs, their brain is stimulated. This gives a baby a sense of security which helps their brain develop. If you love and care for your child you are giving them the right emotional stimulation for later in life.
Holding, talking, and reading to young children causes connections in the brain to form. Reading to children helps develop their senses and builds listening and memory skills that can help the child grow up to be a reader. Reading also introduces letters, numbers, colors and shapes that stimulate the baby brain.
Music and Colors
Playing music for young kids can help them remember facts like the order of the alphabet. This happens because songs tap into fundamental part of the brain that are sensitive to melody and beat. Music also helps kids once they go to school. Playing music at a young age builds good study habits for later in life. Music can also help their ability to concentrate in school. Music can make a big impact on a child’s life.
Black and White
When you picture a baby’s nursery you see light pastel colors, but these colors do nothing to help the baby’s brain. Black and white registers powerfully on a baby’s retina. These strong signals mean faster visual development. Also, stripes of different contrasting colors are good stimulation for the baby’s brain.
Critical Windows of Learning
The window of time that children develop their language skills is between birth and ten years. The early stages of this window are important for having good language skills. Exposing a baby to different shapes, colors and sounds can help a child’s communication skills. You should talk, sing, smile, and read to him/her to encourage communication skills
When a baby is born they can move their limbs but in a jerky kind of way. Over the next four years the brain progressively refines the circuits for reaching, grabbing, sitting, crawling, walking, and running. You want to give a baby enough room to stretch and move because doing this can strengthen and tone the baby’s muscles. Babies are also born with certain reflexes for example, if you put your finger in their hand, they will grab it. Parents should give their children the freedom to explore, just reaching out and grabbing something helps develop hand-eye coordination. When infants are ready activities like drawing or playing an instrument can help develop fine motor skills.
Stimulating a baby’s brain matters because if vision is not exercised when a child is young, the visual system will not develop. Unlike a baby’s hearing, which is fully developed in the child’s first month, their sight is developed in 6 to 8 months. At the end of the first year, a baby can see just as well as you do. In their first week of life babies can’t see in much detail and their first view of the world is in shades of gray, but will very quickly start to see in colors.
While it may seem like babies are just making noises, they are learning their language! Always remember to stimulate a baby brain you should encourage good language, communication, movement, and learning skills. Babies are very intelligent and should be given the right care for good brain development.
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