Saturday, February 28, 2009

developing your babys brain

Baby Care - Developing Your Baby's Brain

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Developing Your Baby's Brain

Have you ever wondered why toys for babies tend to have so many bells, whistles

and lights? Or why they have so many different textures, and materials and colors?

It's almost as if we want to provide young babies with a whole world of stimulation and

we can't quite get it to them fast enough.

Play gyms or activity gyms as they are sometimes called tend to be a firm favorite with

babies from newborn up to about 12 months. These play gyms and activity nests mostly come

in the form of comfortable, quilted or softly padded playmats, sometimes

raised at the edges with a space in the middle for baby (like a ring doughnut).

And these play gyms can be either brightly colored or in soft, pastel shades.

But don't be fooled by thinking they are just snug and comfy resting places for

babies to fall asleep in!

These activity gyms can provide a plethora of visual, audio and tactile stimulation

for fast developing young inquisitive minds.

Often decorated with well known and lovable characters, Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Eyore,

or farm and zoo animals as well, they can consist of detachable, hanging parts for

small babies to try to grasp. They tend to have parts that are crinkly, soft, scrunchy

textures for baby to touch, squeeze and stroke. Some come with bright twinkling

lights and bells and others make funny sounds, or musical sounds, and some even do both.

You will often find mirrors attached to these activity gyms, so that your baby

gets to find and see its own reflection, often providing hours of fun for babies

and carers alike. All of this is extremely important for developing young minds.

Babies are like a sponge, they are ready to absorb whatever information they can -

and boy - they can't grasp it fast enough!

A lot of new research points to the first three years of life as being critical to a baby's

developing brain. It is a known fact that during this period, not only does the brain triple

in weight but it also establishes thousands of billions of nerve connections. Astonishingly,

at the age of three, a young child has twice as many nerve connections as many adults. Therefore,

in your role as a parent, or primary care giver, it is of paramount importance that you recognize

this and understand just how much development is taking place inside your young baby's brain from

birth until the age of three.

At birth, children have most of the neurons (brain cells) they need for a lifetime however, these

brain cells are not yet linked (or "wired") together to form the complex networks that are required

for mature thought processes to take place. And what happens is that in the early years, young

children's brain cells form these connections, or synapses as they are commonly called, very very


One of the crucial ingredients to aiding these connections to form, is experience, and repetition.

In a word, the more times you repeat something new, like showing a baby how to scrunch up a ball,

the quicker these connections are formed. Therefore, it naturally follows that the more positive

interaction you give an infant or toddler, the more you are helping to stimulate young brains.

This stimulation causes new connections to form neural pathways and strengthens existing ones.

Playing with activity gyms, with all

the bells and whistles that they offer or reading to a child, anything which allows a child to

have positive, interactive processes, will aid your child's brain development.

So, as you lovingly sit and watch your young baby laughing and gurgling on the

play mat or under the activity gym - do not underestimate the power of the changes taking place

in the brain, all enriching an inquisitive mind and arming it with a plethora of knowledge and

understanding for years to come.

About the author:

I Bansal is a mother of two and webmaster of

Source: Article Directory


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