Baby Health and Safety Article

Building Your Baby’s Brain

Babies learn by reacting to the
sights, sounds, smells and shapes around them. They also learn by meeting challenges put before them - reaching, grabbing, getting you to pay attention.

As a father, you are more likely than your mate to initiate these learning experiences between your baby and his surroundings, so go for it.

From outward appearances, a typical infant spends two-thirds of his day sleeping, and about three hours eating, one hour pooping and wetting, two hours crying and two hours staring into space. All very basic functions.

However, the world's most sophisticated computer could not keep pace with the activity and development going on inside her brain.

Incredible Brain Development
At birth a baby's brain contains 100 billion nerve cells (or neurons), all she will ever have, but not the programming of those cells. The circuitry is all laid out but the switches have not been turned on.

The sensory experiences she receives are what connects those circuits into that which is necessary for language, vision, understanding, physical coordination and loving.

Just after birth, her brain produces trillions of connections between neurons than it can use. It then begins the process of stimulating those that she will use, and eliminating those that she will not.

Each stimulation the baby encounters helps forge a path, or circuit, between her brain cells, like building roads or an electrical grid that connects neighborhoods, communities and cities.

Stimulation Is Critical

Rich experiences produce rich brains. What turns the mass of brain power into a functioning human being is stimulation. Like a muscle, a baby's brain increases its function according to how much it's used.

You stimulate your baby by talking to her, touching her, being affectionate, showing her the world around her, and introducing objects for her to see, feel, taste, and experience. Think of it this way - every time you put something new within your baby's field of vision, thousands of new connections are being made among her brain cells.


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