When you have a baby you find yourself watching their every move. You wait patiently for them to reach important milestones. Sometimes you may even find yourself wondering if there is more you could be doing to help them grow and learn. Milestones and growth depend on more than just a child’s size however, most growth comes from their brain’s developing to meet this expectation.
Brain development is much more than just waiting for you child to smile at you. A properly developed brain helps the child to learn and grow which promotes healthy development for the rest of their life. Here are some activities you can do with your baby to help promote this very important brain development.
Even though your child is too young to understand the words, reading is a very important development tool. It ignites your child’s hearing senses and allows them to respond to just the simple tone of your voice.
Not only is reading great for brain development, it is an amazing time to bond.
- Bath time
Bath time not only appeals to your child’s sense of touch but also their sense of smell. This is especially true if you use calming baby soap in the bath like lavender.
Surrounding them with little fuzzy bubbles in a warm pool of water lets them explore with their little fingers while also helping them learn to self-sooth.
Medical professionals now say that certain activities like “baby talk” can actually damper a baby’s brain development. While “baby talk” is off the table that doesn’t mean that shouldn’t talk to your baby.
Babies learn through mimicking. So talk to your baby a lot and in no time you will hear them start to put sounds together.
- Mix It Up!
A mother’s instinct is to cuddle and hold their baby, but your child benefits from interacting with other genders as well. Let dad or grandpa cuddle with your baby too! This is good for development because your baby will start to distinguish your hold and touch from others around them.
- Response Time
There are conflicting messages when it comes to how to respond to a crying baby. While many people firmly believe in letting their baby cry it out when upset, new studies actually show that children who are soothed when upset actually cry less in the long run.
So don’t be afraid to go running to your child, it will help their brain development and emotions in the long run.
- Eye Contact
Eye contact is a great way to promote healthy growth because it allows your child to develop a back and forth type of relationship. It will also help you child’s eyes to develop by focusing on your face. Eye development is one of the earliest developments so the sooner you start this initiation the better.
Even if you think your child is too young for a little playing, there are some amazing benefits that can come from this interaction. Something as simple and laying your child on their back while you playfully jingle some toys in front of them can make all the difference in the world.
Touching your child not only helps with brain development and function, it also is a natural way to sooth your baby. Use times when your child gets fussy as a great moment to comfort them while helping them grow.
Something as simple and skin on skin touching or a gentle tummy massage will invigorate you baby’s senses.
The sense of smell is strongly tied to memory which makes it a great activity to use to help your baby develop. Your smell is the first thing that your child will experience and in the very early days when they still can’t focus their eyes, that is how they will recognize you.
Using certain smells like lotions will encourage your child to keep learning and making memories which will expand their minds.
Cuddling is one of the most basic instincts as a parent and luckily for you, it is one of the best ways to help your baby’s brain develop. It reaches to all of your child’s senses at once which are ideal when it comes to brain function.
So whether you’re reading your baby your favorite story or snuggling in for the night, take those opportunities as a growing and learning experience for the both of you. Just remember that the key to healthy development is to appeal to their senses, the rest is up to you. Take care.