Words fail to express the happiness experienced by parents when they look at their newborn for the first time. After the much awaited arrival of the baby, parents have a lot of work to do. Just a quarter of your baby's brain is developed during the pregnancy, and the first few years are extremely important for proper development of the child's brain. Parents must learn about effective activities that can help in developing and stimulating their child's brain.
Stages of Brain Development in Infants
The first few years of the life are extremely important for shaping up your baby's brain and intellectual abilities. Your baby will grow up into a smart adult, if you make consistent efforts to help the baby connect with his/her environment. The more interactive you are, the more you assist the baby's brain to make connections and encourage behavioral development. After the baby is born, the first stage of neurogenesis takes place and newly developed neurons start functioning and help the baby's brain to link events to memories simultaneously.
The second stage involves the neuronal migration when these neurons move to different parts of the brain, depending on their assigned functions. A myelin coating is then formed around its axon to save it and enhance the function of transmitting electrical impulses to the other neurons.
The stage of synaptogenesis follows, whereby messages are received and sent quickly between the central nervous system and the neurons. During the final stage, the obsolete and less used neurons are destroyed and those which have been strengthened due to repeated use expand. Thus, it is essential to interact with your baby and enhance the development of the infant's brain with the help of exploratory activities. This will promote the emotional, intellectual, and social development of your child.
Activities that Stimulate the Brain
When you were pregnant, you would certainly have enjoyed those kicks and movements and felt overwhelmed by the life within you. Now that you can see, feel, and touch your little one, interact as much as possible. The more you interact with your baby, the better chances of the development of his/her brain. Decorate your baby's room and remember your little bundle of joy needs a lot of attention, love, and warmth. Cuddle up and make cute faces. Your baby will wonder when you imitate or make baby sounds.
Once the baby can focus well, provide him/her with lots of visual experiences. Get colorful, musical age-appropriate toys to engage him, but make sure that the toys are safe. Talk to your baby and sing in different voices. Respond to the sounds that the baby makes. Take a rattle and shake it to one side to help your baby focus on the object and the noise associated with it. Your baby will love gentle strokes, massage, or gentle baby stretch sessions. As your baby grows and is able to understand language, play rhymes and music. Repeatedly playing some rhymes will help him/her identify sounds. Take your baby to new places and let him/her explore the surroundings.
Games and Activities
As your baby begins to understand and talk a little, join a play group, or play games that will help your child's brain develop in verbal, motor, conceptual, and mental capacities. Play hide-and-seek or clapping games. Read out from baby books. Be expressive and use your voice in a dramatic manner as you tell them stories. This will really help in developing their imagination and creativity.
Let your child play with other children and interact with them. Open his/her eyes to a world of various objects with different shapes, sizes, and textures. Try to help him/her establish a connection and identify different objects. Get toys like wrist rattle, squeak toys, pull-string musical toys, and push and pull toys that can help his locomotive abilities and hand-eye coordination. Let your child play with building blocks and other educational toys.
Spend as much time with your baby and interact as much as you can to stimulate your little one's brain. Be a smart parent first, to ensure that your baby turns out to be smart or simply the best.