Your Baby’s Brain Development

Do you ever wonder how fast or how much your baby’ brain develops? Most mothers have a hint with the soft visible part of the head. They understand that a lot is yet to be accomplished physically. If your baby has or had the flat head syndrome, for instance, then you may have heard in the same context, conversations around delayed motor skills. Let’s dig deeper and get a better understanding of what’s going on in your little champ’s head. 

Parts of The Human Brain

This may get a little bit scientific, but you need to understand the brain physiology to know how it works. The association between the structure of the brain and its function is not easy. The brain has three parts; the cerebrum, the brain stem, and the cerebellum.

  1. The cerebrum – it is the largest part responsible for learning and memory
  2. The brain stem – it controls reflexes and automatic processes such as heart rate and breathing.
  3. The cerebellum – it controls balance and coordination.

What Helps Your Baby’s Brain Development?

Genes play a big role in your baby’s brain development. Other factors include the following: 

  • Nutrition during pregnancy – What you eat, coupled with the supplements you were offered during your antenatal clinic play a big role on your baby’s brain development.
  • Experiences with the world and other people – The environment your baby is exposed to can shape their development and cause lasting effects. 
  • Exposure to infections and toxins – Toxins such as lead, found in some toys can negatively impact on your child’s brain, with some cases, even leading to death. 

You can help enhance your baby’s brain development by giving nurturing and responsive care. You need to be alert when it comes to your baby’s mind and body as it is the key to promoting healthy brain development. 

How You Can Help

Children are learning beings. They rely on you and others around them to learn the right skills. Ensure that your baby has a safe and nurturing environment to allow exploring and play. Neglect or extreme stress can largely hinder proper development. To help:-

  • Play with your baby
  • Hold eye contact with your baby to help develop his emotional and physical skills
  • Speak to your baby constantly to help him develop speech 
  • Listen to your baby and respond in a caring and sensitive manner
  • Build on his interests and skills by exposing him to different things (toys, places, music, books etc.)
  • Read to your baby to help his language skills 
  • Avoid putting him in stressful situations
  • Feed him the right foods (brain- enhancing foods such as eggs, greens, fish, oatmeal, nuts, apples, and plums)
  • Sing to your baby to help them develop their audible sensory abilities
  • Create noise with toys such as rattles to help him learn the concept of cause and effect

It is always important to create or become part of a community. Ensure that you seek help if you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed. There is always room to receive support and help as a parent. Please ask as many questions as you need regarding your baby’s development. 

Disclaimers:

#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: urbanchildinstitute, cdc.gov, zerotothree, parenting.firstcry, bounty

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