Infant Brain Development

By: Erika N.

Why is brain development so important?

Developing the brain is the up most important thing for you to do for your child. As a newborn the neurons in the brain have very few dendrites which are the brain's pathways. As the baby grows and goes through each new experience they form dendrites in their brain to help connect neurons. The more dendrites a neuron grows and the more links that develop between neurons, the more neural pathways are created. More pathways give the brain more power. It can take on more tasks and control more actions.

There are 6 basic steps to help with your infant's brain development.

1. Keep it simple and natural: Everyday experiences, such as changing a diaper or giving a bath, build the pathways between neurons when combined with cuddling, talking, or singing to the baby.


2. Match experiences to the child's mental abilities: Babies need physical experiences. That is how they learn. It is important to provide experiences at their level of understanding.


3. Practice makes perfect: The more repetition, the stronger the connections between neurons become. Establish routines with the baby so the baby learns what to expect. Include reading a bedtime story, even when the baby cannot read.


4. Actively involve the baby: Provide experiences in which the child takes part. Children of all ages learn best by doing.


5. Provide variety, but avoid overload: Some parents try to expose their baby to as many different experiences as possible to enhance brain development. Babies do benefit from a variety of experiences, but too many can overwhelm them.


6. avoid pushing the child: Children learn better if they are interested in what they are doing. Look for clues as to whether the child shows in the activity. If not, do not pursue it.

Examples of techniques that parents and caregivers can use to help with brain development.

Citations

Brisbane, Holly. The Developing Child. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 260-64. Print.


K., Debord. "Infant Brain Development: How parents and caregivers can nurture positive brain development." Thrive. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <https://allthrive.org/resources/infant-brain-development-how-parents-and-caregivers-can-nurture-positive-brain-development/>.