Your baby is in your hands, finally. Isn’t it exciting? It’s an over whelming joy, no doubt. Now as a parent you surely want to develop your baby’s body and brain at their best. You can easily nurture your baby’s brain by pouring your love and attention in every day to day activity with your baby. Special care and attention will help the baby’s brain develop just as you want.
At birth, your baby has 100 billion neurons in his brain. As the time passes, these neurons build connections called neural synapses. These connections are built by stimulation of brain. Till the age of 3, almost all the neural pathways are formed. So, needless to say, these first three years are very crucial to child’s brain development.
Your baby will start from language, response, attention and reasoning skills. These skills are polished and enhanced by the parents. Following are the few very doable things in the daily routine where you can easily help your baby’s brain.
Breastfeeding is a great way to develop a baby’s brain. Breastmilk contains taurine and some special fatty acids in right quantities. Taurine and these fatty acids are necessary for the child’s mental growth. So, breastfeed your little one for as long as possible. If you are bottle feeding, make sure that the formula contains taurine and fatty acids in it.
Breastfeed is also a great way to build a bond with your wee. Your baby can see your face clearly at this distance and you can interact with her by making facial expressions and saying words loudly. She will definitely enjoy the feed time and her brain will develop neural connections to learn language and facila expressions.
Massage your infant daily. Massage her head and tummy and touch her loveably. Studies have shown that touching your infant lightly helps in brain growth.
Name and move the body parts in a fun way and let her see and hear you. You can also lie her on her tummy and allow some tummy time during massage.
Diaper change time:
Make this apparently frustrating time (for you and baby both) a fun time by making eye contact with your baby and talking to her. Relax her by cuddling and massaging her legs. Baby can see well at this distance. So, make gestures and let her observe you.
Babies can expect certain patterns to their daily routine. If you are changing diaper at the same time of the day and singing a particular song, your baby will most likely remember this daily routine. It will help boost the parts of brains responsible for memory and association.
Bathing your wee in a hurry and making it a hassle is not a good idea. Bath time can be a great learning time as usually babies love bathing and playing with water. Allow your little one to hold soap in her hands to feel the texture. You can let her play with toys and observe how they float and sink in water. She will also learn about how object disappears in water and she can find it.
You can have endless ideas of how to make bath time a fun time. Your baby will experience and remember the texture of water, soap, bubbles, toys and towel. In this way, her sense of touch will be greatly enhanced.
Often parents get irritated when their little ones want to hold their plate of food by themselves. As they know what the mess it would be! But for their mental growth, it’s important to allow them eat their food on their own. Be ready for the food to go down from the dining chair. Give a piece of fruit or veggie in her hand. She will play and eat it herself and will learn the texture of food and how to break it into pieces.
Baby can hold the things in her hands and experience what hot and cold is. So it will enhance her motor and reflex skills greatly.
Parents often add bed time stories to their night regime. This enhances the baby’s vision, focus, learning, hearing and reading skills. Just show her big and bright pictures from the book before sleep. It’s not necessary to read a whole story but just read few lines loudly and show her the book. Allow her touch the book and see the pictures. You can start this routine right after the birth!
Massage is also very important before sleep. Massaging head and singing a specific song can make your baby learn that it is her sleep time. Massaging the head lightly also helps in brain growth and development.
Sing for your baby:
Singing incorporates the sense of enjoyment, pattern and movement. It also helps child to memorize things in a rhythm and helps her to calm down. Studies have shown a relationship between rhythm and learning abilities, hearing acuity and social interactions.
Singing also enhances the auditory system as baby learns to recognize from where the voice is coming without seeing the one who is singing.
Go out for a long drive:
A long drive is a way to let your child see the outside world. There are many objects passing by. Just name them and point towards the object. Baby will observe as many things as she can. If you are driving and cannot move much, just sing the objects names.
Other than this, your baby will learn the interior of the car also. This long drive should be added in your weekend routine for the goodness of your baby.
These practices mentioned above are very easy to incorporate in the daily routine. It’s important to start as soon as your child is born as the billions of neurons has to be connected to ‘wire’ the brain properly and who else can do it better than you, mama!