Every parent wants to give their baby a great start in life. As most parents know, 50% of whether your child will be intelligent or not, is based largely on their genes. The other 50% is up to you.
We’ve all heard that a baby’s brain is like a sponge during the first years of life. For that reason, your baby needs your help in order for his brain to develop.
At birth your baby is born with nerve cells that are largely unconnected. These electrical wires determine his language, curiosity, intelligence, sociability and sight. These connections are largely made during the first three years of his life.
The most beneficial thing that you can do for your baby is to hold, play, talk and nourish your baby. Other things that can help boost your baby’s brain include:
Diet and nutrition are vital for a baby’s developing brain. Omega-3 oil provides natural building blocks for brain development, says Dr Carol Cooper, a child development expert.
“Brain cells are made up of DHA – an omega-3 fatty acid, which we need to ensure, is a regular part of a child’s diet.”
Folate, magnesium, vitamin B6 and antioxidants – found in vegetables such as beans, broccoli, spinach and berries – are excellent brain power boosters. Fruits are also very important, and should be eaten daily if possible.
Unborn babies can hear clearly at 20 weeks of pregnancy and will remember the music you played until they reach their first birthday. Experts say anything mommy likes to listen to should be good enough.
Get your baby to stretch as much as possible. Yoga is a great idea, if you have access to a studio offering baby yoga classes.
Touching is very important for your baby’s growth. Not only does it make your baby feel loved and secure, but it is also great for stimulation. There can never been enough hugs. Also allow your child to feel as many textures as possible, and encourage them to explore different shapes as well.
Encourage your baby to talk from as early as possible. Also scrap the baby language, this will only delay their verbal skills.
Play is vital for your baby’s development. This is an integral part of mental, emotional, social, intellectual and physical development. Researchers have found that children who score high on socio-dramatic play like role plays demonstrate the greatest gains in cognitive areas such as intellectual competence, attention span and creative thinking.
Peek-a-boo is not just great fun for you and your baby, it can actually teach the important concept of object permanence. Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it is not there.
Speak a foreign language
According to a study from Bristol University, babies exposed to a foreign language within their first nine months found it easier to learn more languages later in their life.
Reading to your baby is one of the obvious brain-boosters. Make sure you select the right books, which involve your child and allow him to interact.
Use two hands
Encourage your baby to use both hands. This links physical and brain development. When your baby uses both hands while playing, both sides of the body send messages up to the brain, which help with neurological development.
As your child gets older, give him responsibilities and chores. This makes them more responsible, but also allows them to learn social and domestic skills which will definitely come handy for them later in life.