Your babys brain size tends to double in the first year of her life. You can help your babys brain grow healthily in a number of ways. Continue reading in how you can contribute.
Last Updated: 23 October 2020
The parts of the brain
The brain can be divided into three major parts.
The brain stem The brain stem connects the spinal cord to the upper brain and controls reflexes, breathing and heart rate.
The cerebellum is involved in balance and coordination.
Cerebrum is above the brain stem and cerebellum. The cerebrum is involved in higher processes like memory and learning. The outer surface of the cerebrum is called the cerebral cortex which is involved in brain’s advanced activities like planning and decision-making. The brain tends to process information by forming networks of specialized nerve cells, called neurons. These neurons communicate with one another using electrical and chemical signals. These messages are the physical basis of learning and memory. Messages are passed between neurons at connections called synapses.
The process of brain development
The process of brain development in each trimester:
First trimester: Nerve connections that are necessary for the baby to move around in the womb are built
Second trimester: Formation of more nerve connections and brain tissue.
Third trimester: Formation of cerebral cortex that is essential for baby’s learning.
Between conception and age three, a child’s brain experiences striking changes. Brain cells begin to multiply at a rate of about 250,000 per minute at around four weeks after conception.
The brain size doubles in size in the first year of a baby’s life, and by age three it has reached 80 percent of its adult volume. Synapses are formed at a rapid rate during these years than at any other time.
Both nature and nurture contributes a lot to brain development. The environment that a child resides during the earliest years has a vital role in shaping the baby’s brain.
How you can contribute to your baby’s brain grow?
You can try the following to help your baby’s brain grow actively.
Environment: It is very important to provide a safe, comfortable warm and loving place for your children. Poverty, neglect, marital conflict, abuse and parent’s addiction to alcohol and drugs are extremely harmful to a child’s brain. It leads to physical and emotional problems.
Food: Healthy food improves cell growth. Breast milk not only improves immunity but also helps in building your baby’s brain. Breastfed babies had 20 to 30% more white matter of the brain which is associated with language and cognition. During feeding, make eye contact and smile and provide them the right warmth they require. Include lots of fruits vegetables, grains and iron rich foods in their diet.
Relationships: The place they are in, the people they meet should provide them a positive energy. Positive, loving and consistent relationships are very essential for your baby’s healthy brain development. Positive relationships build better communications skills and help them understand the world.
Routine: Everyday routine activities should be fun filled. Make their bath times special and make them enjoy the soothing water. Everyday touch and nurture helps soothe baby’s nervous system.
Response: Always develop the habit of responding to your baby’s babbling, crying, smiling and to the sounds they make. This helps build a strong emotional bond with you.
Talking: Spend special time with your children. Have a conversation that is warm, gentle and soft to hear for them. Spending time with your child is a great way to stimulate your baby’s brain and improve their vocabulary.
Reading: As reading involves touch, smell, hearing and sight it is one of the most powerful ways to boost your baby’s brain development.
Singing: When babies sing along with you, they could communicate better; smile more, and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses.
Playing: Play simple games like peekaboo with your child and make sure your child is comfortable with others while they are playing. Playing peekaboo is a good way to teach object permanence which helps them understand that people are still there even if she doesn’t see them. Playing with others help them build a social connect.
Healthcare: Let your child have regular health checkups and keep track of their vaccinations.
Help your baby's brain grow positively.