The attention and environment you provide shape your child’s brain development for life. – Erik Erikson
Most of us know that maximum brain development of baby takes place in the first five years. Brain development is something which is directly proportional to the kind of environment a baby grows in. There are many environmental factors which influence baby’s cognition but there are 3 which are the most important. Also, these three environmental factors are the all-encompassing factors as they include everything needed to boost cognitive development in a baby.
These are 3 environmental factors that influence baby’s cognition –
- Parents attitude or involvement –
As a parent, you can do a lot of things which can help your child to grow up in a secure environment. A secure environment means a family or a house where a child is taken care of and he/she feels secure and happy. A family environment includes the family members (parents, siblings, grandparents) and also the other things in the house like toys and books etc. Parents can help in stimulation through senses such as hearing, touch, taste, smell right from the starting. It really helps in the growth of the brain.
How parents involvement can help?
During the early years, parents should be actively involved with their baby. Just getting a lot of toys is not going to help. Take out time to play with the baby with those toys as, during the first six months, infants need a lot of interaction. Fun games, playful activities and playing music stimulates the brain in different ways. It helps in the growth of neurons and creates synapses for healthy brain development. Actually, babies can learn many new skills through repetition and parents repeating everything baby says is a great way to interact. Hence, Interactive play activities not only boosts cognitive development but also improves parent-child bonding
- Stimulation –
Stimulation in the form of talking to kids, playing with them or singing to them is a great way to FeedIQ in babies. It can promote faster growth and increase concentration and coordination. Activities like stroking, cuddling, skin-to-skin contact and massage are very stimulating. Many of these stimulating activities can be started as early as foetal stage as the brain development starts from the womb. A baby in the womb does respond to their mother’s heartbeat and voice. A mom can talk to the baby about daily activities. Sing to him/her or recite a nursery rhyme.
What are the activities that can help in stimulation in babies?
Singing nursery rhymes or other songs
Reading books to babies
Talking to the baby
Repeating everything they say or any sounds they make
Play toys and games to interact better
You can do all these simple activities even when you are expecting to boost the brain development right from the foetal stage.
- Nutrition –
Good nutrition during pregnancy and during the formative years of the baby are very important. Breastfeeding promotes good brain development and optimal nutrition of moms makes sure that babies get all the required nutrition. As it starts as early as the foetus stage, moms must take a good care of their nutrition. Moms can have specialised nutrition like SimMom IQ+ during pregnancy and lactation. It has all the nutrients like DHA, choline, Iron and Iodine to boost healthy development for the mom and baby. Also, moms must take a diet rich in antioxidants and nutrients and avoid junk food during pregnancy and lactation.
So, good dietary sources along with nutritional supplements taken by moms during pregnancy and lactation help to ensure optimal brain development in babies. Dietary sources like fresh fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients like natural Vitamin E which is important to boost brain development along with DHA. It’s also important to provide optimal nutrition to babies once they start solids too. Here moms play an important role again.
Nutrition along with parents involvement and stimulation are equally important. So, all these should begin in utero and continued till the early years of life.