Your child will never grow quite as fast as they do in their first few years. And as parents, it’s natural to want to create the perfect environment for your baby to grow from their toes to their heads—or, rather, the stuff that’s inside of their heads.
Fortunately, there are plenty of little things to help your baby’s brain development and give your little one the best chance to grow.
When a baby first comes into the world, they start learning to make connections between things, people, and events. One of the best things you can do for your baby to facilitate mental connections and create a sense of stability is to establish a routine. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Change their clothes at the same time every day
- Follow the same steps for washing up and winding down before bed
- Feed your baby at consistent times
- Try to differentiate between daytime and nighttime activities
Naturally, this routine will change as your child grows up. Be ready to adjust through developmental stages, and don’t stress if you don’t get the routine just right every time.
Color Their World
When babies are first born, their vision isn’t fully developed. They can only see so far, and they can’t see all the colors. However, even at an early age, colors can still help your child’s brain development. The key is contrast.
Even though babies can’t necessarily tell blue from purple, they can still tell dark colors from light, such as black from white. Contrast is immediately interesting to babies. Some suggest that being exposed to patterns like this may encourage babies’ memories.
In 1993, psychologists introduced the world to the Mozart Theory. The idea is that playing Mozart or other classical music can improve one’s brain function on certain types of tests for a limited time. People took this to mean, “If I play this for my babies, it will make them smarter,” but that’s not quite the case.
While Mozart won’t automatically guarantee your child a full-ride scholarship to Harvard, music of all kinds will help stimulate your baby’s brain. One study found that 9-month-old babies detected patterns and recognized speech more effectively after intentional exposure to music. So, crank up the tunes!
Truthfully, one of the best ways to help your baby’s brain development is to do what you would do as a mom anyway—interact with them. Every interaction your baby has is a chance for brain development, whether it’s a pair of jingling car keys for them to play with or your finger. Your baby’s brain will thank you.