Think you need the latest educational gadgets for your baby? Think again! Find out what you should and should not do to optimize your child’s brain development.
Did you know the first 3 years of life are the most critical for brain development? This is the time when a baby’s brain develops the basic foundation of neural connections. If, however, a strong foundation of neural connections is not formed, it could cause future learning problems.
There are 2 main ways to optimize your baby’s brain development:
LOTS of face-to-face human interaction
Hands-on play and exploration
Talking Frequently to Your Child
Research has shown that THE most important factor in increasing mental ability and making neural connections is for parents to talk frequently to their children. Parents need to sing, read, tell stories, and basically talk about everything that is going on.
Beware of Screens and Talking Toys for Children Under Two
But beware, surrounding your children with the latest screens and talking toys may actually hinder their brain development. How? Babies are designed to learn from face-to-face, two-way human interaction. The parent says something, and the baby tries to say something back. There’s constant feedback and reinforcement. Plus, there’s eye contact and joint attention, which wires a baby’s brain for social communication.
Screens and electronic toys, however, are one-way communication. There’s no eye contact, joint attention, or back-and-forth conversation.