Love Sleep Play: Baby Love & Care
Baby brain boosters
By Caitlin Boyle for Love Sleep Play
Before you know it, you’ll be flummoxed by your child’s maths homework. But for now, you’re his best teacher, and simply playing and interacting with him is enough to develop his brain. Introducing new words, sounds, objects and experiences encourages brain growth at an amazing rate.
If you imagine that your little baby isn’t absorbing anything you say or do, just you wait. In a few weeks, you’ll be astounded by all his tricks – that he’s learnt from you!
How does your baby learn?
At birth, the brain is the only organ that is not fully developed; it is a work in progress. Everything that happens to your baby helps to form the connections in his brain, so one-on-one interaction and the introduction of new and exciting things is very important to your baby’s brain development.
Introduce your baby to experiences that get all five senses going – touch, sound, smell, sight, and taste. Simple things, like playing music, gently rubbing your baby’s palm over his dad’s scratchy beard – even letting him smell your freshly brewed cup of coffee; all these things help the development of many complex pathways in his little brain.
One of the best parts of being a new mum or dad is watching your child discover the world. It’s a bit of a cliché, but the world is really quite amazing when you look at it through your child’s eyes!
Don’t get obsessed with reaching milestones
You’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it again, and it’s oh-so-very-true: All babies are different! Babies develop at different paces, and even if yours doesn’t appear to be gaining new skills, his little baby brain is whirring away like nobody’s business!
Between birth and 3 months, your baby will work on motor skills, like better head control and the ability to open and shut his hands; social skills, like smiling; and sensory skills, like the ability to track a moving object with his eyes.
Between 4 and 7 months, your baby will gain better control over his body, become more interested in social play, and start to explore the world using his hands and mouth.
As your baby approaches the 1-year mark, his brain will develop even further still, and he’ll be able to sit up and find hidden objects.
All of these milestones occur in an ongoing stream of learning, and there’s a wide range of what’s considered normal. If you have any concerns about your baby’s progress, have a chat with your doctor. If there is any delay to a child’s development, early intervention can make a big difference.
Disclaimer: I received some compensation in exchange for posting this article.