A baby’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain. The first three years are of special importance. At this time the brain has the greatest potential for learning. An infant’s brain is like a sponge soaking up everything around them. For example, it is very easy for a child to learn a foreign language at this time.
When you’re at work you want to make sure that whoever’s taking care of your child has time for one-on-one interaction. One-on-one interaction is best for a child’s brain development. Make sure that whoever is caring for your child is taking the time to read to them, sing to them, and play with them.
Studies show that children need certain elements in their early stages of life to grow and develop to their full potential. Here’s what children need for bonding:
- to feel special, loved and valued
to feel safe
to feel confident about what to expect from their environment
a good balance of both limits and freedom
exposure to a diverse environment filled with language, books, play, exploration, music and age appropriate toys
Proper nutrition is very important in early brain development. On days when you don’t eat well, you tend to feel sluggish and tired; the same applies for babies. It’s important that children get enough calories, protein and calcium, regardless of whether that comes from breast milk, formula, baby food or whatever.
The senses of touch, smell and sound are important ways children learn. The more they can touch, see, smell, the more information they’re taking in and processing. For example, we don’t recommend little mittens for newborns because they need to touch everything. Different textures are important because that’s mainly how they learn. Then they get into the “tasting everything” phase where the way they take in information is by putting things into their mouths.
Children who may have gone through very “negative” experiences may require therapy, depending on what the negative experience was and the age of the child. However, a good way to begin to undo the damage from that point forward is to provide positive reinforcement. Give them lots of one on one time, make them feel safe, secure, and loved and show them that you’ll always be there for them.