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.
Take our website home with Crash Course for Dads-To-Be.
Have something you want to tell us? Let us know.
New Dad Resources
Get Free Dad Tips
Baby on the way or just arrived? Sign up for our free Dad-to-be and New Dad Basics email series and you'll receive monthly emails packed with tips.
Crash Course for Dads-To-Be, full of the advice of over 300,000 new fathers.
Get prepared for the birth of your child with a Boot Camp workshop near you.
Dads Adventure Magazine has key articles on being a dad. Get it now!
Visit our Dads Blog for posts on the issues New Dads find most important.