Your baby’s brain is built over decades, starting during pregnancy in your womb and throughout adulthood. Of course, just like every other organ in the human body, this development phase is accelerated during the early years of birth. It decelerates over time as your baby enters the adult age. It is why these early years form the very foundation for your baby’s future learning. Therefore, as a parent, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that they receive the proper nutrition, aid, and support to boost their brain development and promote healthy growth.
Every time your baby hears, speaks, smells, and sees, their brain produces millions of neural connections almost every second. We refer to these neural connections as memory, remembering something from the early years of life. Over time, these neural connections form a mesh or a framework that helps structure our personality and understanding of the world.
The human brain and it’s various parts
The human brain consists of three regions:
- Brain stem and cerebellum: This connects our brain to the spinal cord and is responsible for sending messages across from the brain to the various parts of the body.
- Limbic system: This lies on top of the brain stem and is responsible for our emotions, memory, learning, and daily rhythms.
- Cerebral cortex: This consists of the left and right hemispheres and lies on top of the limbic system. It consists of various lobes- the occipital lobe, temporal lobe, frontal lobe, and parietal lobe.
During the first trimester of your pregnancy, your baby’s brain builds new nerve connections. In the second trimester, these nerve connections continue their formation along with the development of the brain tissue. By the time you give birth, your baby can hear and recognize your voice, see things around them, and maybe smell a little too. However, their brain will continue developing for the coming years. Therefore, it is advised to form a positive and encouraging environment around them where they can experience love and happiness since that is how your baby would perceive the world.
How can parents promote their baby’s healthy brain development?
Taking care of your baby always
Undeniably, parents need to make their babies feel loved and safe. During their early years of brain development, you need to be with your child and spend quality time with them. Of course, you’d be taking care of your baby, feeding, bathing, and comforting them, all of which contribute directly to the healthy brain development of your child.
Providing them with the nutrition they need
Food also forms a very vital component for healthy development. Nutritious and growth-stimulating food helps boost cell growth in the brain.
- During the first 4-6 after your baby’s birth, breast milk is the best food for them. Of course, you can even choose milk formula for them.
- When your baby can consume solid foods, try to include more nuts, leafy vegetables, and fruits in their diet.
Promoting an active lifestyle
Indulging your baby in an active lifestyle is imperative for developing motor skills. The more active your baby is, the faster their motor skills develop. Let your child explore the world, let them crawl/walk, and see things around them.
Connect with your baby even if you don’t understand what they’re trying to say. The essential communication between parents and newborns will decide how interactive your baby is. Sing to them, talk to them, and read to them.
Make sure your baby sleeps a lot
Initially, they will sleep for most of the day, but that is okay since it promotes brain development. Remember, the brain is active even when your baby is sleeping. So, make sure your baby gets enough sleep.