Brain development is done over time. It starts very early when you are pregnant and the process continues till adulthood .It needs good nourishment and a strong base.
The brain has control of all our actions and several different areas are present in the brain which are responsible for all these actions. Each area has several millions of brain cells called neurons. These neurons communicate with each other by passing chemical messages over tiny spaces called synapses. As the messages are repeated over and over, more links are made and “neural pathways” are formed. In the first year of life these synapses are developed at a very fast speed.
So how can parents as first teachers of children help in development of brain –
Key points –
- At birth the synapses are not fully developed . It is very actively changing from time to time . The daily activity of playing reading ,interacting all develop the childs brain .
- How well all the synapses are set in the brain – this all affects the performance of your child in the school like learning abilities, problem solving .Later on in life, it affects the childs physical and emotional health and how she gets along with other people.
- Relationships are essential. Loving, consistent, positive relationships help build healthy brains and protect your baby’s brain from the negative effects of stress.
- Infants feel stress if they stay in an unsafe ,frightening and stressful atmosphere . Stress is called “toxic “ – when it is persistent and everyday ,it is due to problems like extreme marital conflict, poverty, abuse, neglect, being exposed to violence, having a parent who misuses drugs or alcohol, or having a parent with an untreated mental illness. This is very harmful to the developing brain. It can lead to physical, learning and emotional problems in childhood, and these problems can carry on right into adulthood. You should take your childs or your doctors help.
- Needs of developing brain of baby :
Positive experiences increases responsiveness and nurtures the child :
Whatever the baby sees ,feel,s and experiences daily helps shape up the babys brain .Everyday experiences help shape your baby’s brain—from your daily routines to the people your baby comes in contact with. Babies need to live and play in healthy spaces with opportunities to learn and grow. They need you to recognize there daily needs of hunger,tiredness ,emotions. Warmth and predictably to your baby and creating routines help babies feel safe. It shows them that that they can count on you when they are sick, upset or distressed, and that you can meet their needs. Babies need their parents and caregivers to respond to them in loving, caring and consistent ways.
- Fun activities: Talking, reading and singing to your baby are all fun and easy ways to help her grow.
- Good food: If you are able to breastfeed, breastmilk is the best food you can give your baby for the first 6 months of life. Feeding time works as a brain-building time like making eye contact, smiling, and having skin contact are all positive experiences. As your baby grows, be sure to offer iron-rich foods and foods with a variety of nutrients, like fruits and vegetables
- No expensive toys are required by the baby – The loving smiling caring faces is the best toy. Parents should actively interact with the baby for proper brain development. Watching a DVD or TV show is passive. Screen time is not recommended for children under 2.They need to explore there world
What parents can do?
- Active response to your baby. This is especially important when your baby is sick, hungry, upset, or just needs some comfort. But babies also reach out in several ways like by babbling, making sounds, or smiling. When you respond in a loving and consistent way, you help baby’s brain develop.
- Provide a safe and loving home for your baby. Develop daily routines that your baby can count on. Keep your home calm.
- Help your baby explore his surroundings, both inside and out. Play helps babies learn, and you are your child’s first playmate. Playing simple games will help him learn about the people and the world around him. And remember to talk to your baby as you go through your daily routines. Tell your baby what is going on, point out interesting things that you see together, and help him develop his other senses—hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
- Get regular health care for your baby. Your baby should be seen by a healthcare provider on a regular basis. Keep vaccines up-to-date and talk to your provider about development and what to expect next.
- Develop neighbourhood connections. Get to know people who stay in the neighbourhood and if any activities for kids are going there . Playgroups and drop-ins are great places to meet other parents, and many have visiting professionals who can answer questions.
- Choose quality child care. When you need to be away from you baby, make sure you leave your baby with a caregiver who will care for your baby like you do. Choose someone you trust, who will respond to your baby’s emotional needs, and provide a safe and healthy environment with opportunities to learn and grow.
- Reach out if you need help. If you feel stressed, overwhelmed, depressed or need some support caring for your baby, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to your health care provider, your family