Advertisement

How can I best nurture my baby’s brain development?

Early loving attachments for infants actually affect the way their brain grows. Talking, rocking, singing and direct eye contact with a baby are several important ways to stimulate the brain to develop and grow. Touching, stroking and holding a baby are also especially important. Research shows that touching and holding a baby release important hormones in their bodies necessary for brain growth.

Most of a child’s brain growth and development will occur during the first three years of life. How we nurture and care for our children during this time will impact their readiness for school, emotional development and future potential as adults.

Although they can’t talk, infants use many ways to communicate. Infants talk to us through cooing, eye contact, crying and other facial expressions. When we respond to their cues, children develop trust, a sense of security and the feeling that they are loved.

Understanding language is a critical development activity for infants. At seven months of age, babies can recognize and understand many words, even though they can’t say the words yet. Therefore, talking, singing and playing are important ways to interact and stimulate language development.

Nurturing care positively impacts the way toddlers respond to stress. By age two, children who have received consistent, loving care may adapt to stress better. Research shows that, at a young age, these children will produce less of the stress hormone called “cortisol.” When they become upset, they can turn off their reaction to stress faster. This research suggests that they may be better prepared to respond to life’s challenges.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Continue Learning about Baby Development

Talk to Your Child Like an Adult
Talk to Your Child Like an Adult
A bit of baby talk and mimicking a child’s sounds during the earliest months of life makes an infant feel connected and understood and stimulates an i...
Read More
How do early experiences help a baby's brain develop?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Early experiences - say, being exposed to both English and Russian as an infant, or constantly inter...
More Answers
How do I teach my infant about sex?
Good In BedGood In Bed
You may be wondering how you're supposed to teach your infant about sexuality when she can only coo....
More Answers
Can Physical Activity Improve a Child's Mental Development?
Can Physical Activity Improve a Child's Mental Development?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.