8 brain development tips during the first year

8 brain development tips during the first year 8 brain development tips during the first year 8 brain development tips during the first year


        In the first year, since the childs open their eyes to the world, is a very important time in terms of brain and intellectual development.  

        A baby's brain after birth weighs about 1 kg, consisting of 100 trillion brain cells. This number does not increase. However, there is a rapid increase in the number of neuro branches, a growing network to perform various functions, such as movement of the body, growth regulation, the use of sensory interaction with surroundings, and learning and memorization, until the child is 2 years old, which is when the development of the brain will slow down.

        It is undeniable that the first year is the golden time of brain development for the child. The most important people that can help stimulate the child’s development are the parents. We have some simple tips and tricks for the development of the 

             1. Breastmilk is the best diet

Research indicates that substances that regulate the growth of neurons and brain and the hormone used in the growth and development of the baby's body and brain can be found only in breast milk. Other types of milk cannot replace it.  

Not only is the breast milk nutrient rich for the baby, when you breastfeed, It is a time when the little ones will feel the warmth from the mother's embrace. Also, it is the time that the baby uses the five senses, from looking at his/her mother, to tasting milk, smelling, listening, and feeling the mother’s gentle touch.

Breastfeeding, therefore, stimulates development, both mentally and physically, from the complete nutrients offered in breast milk. It is also creates an opportunity to be close to the mother. Thus, for the good development of the baby, mothers should breastfeed at least from birth - 6 months

              2. Interpreting cries

During the first year of life, babies are unable to communicate with words so they just babble. Crying is a way of expressing their needs to the parents. Each child has a different way of communication. Parents should note the different types of cries and what they mean. 

An infant’s cry can communicate hunger, tiredness, demanding attention, pain, or can be a sort of warning for parents that the baby is feeling uncomfortable or is getting sick. In this case, there would be a screaming sound that is distinctly different than normal cries.  

When the baby is crying, parents should respond to their needs correctly. When you understand the desires of the baby, it will help to build a basic trust for the child. Responding to the needs of the child properly is the key to creating a sense of stability and safety for him/her.  

              3. Hugging and Picking Up

Newborns are often startled, which is a Moro Reflex. This is normal to show complete development of the baby. It will gradually decrease when the baby is 3 months old.

This physical reaction causes the baby to look frightened all the time. There is no need to worry about this. When the baby is laid down in bed, the baby will cry immediately. As soon as he/she is picked up and held, he/she will calm down. You can hold the baby as much as you want without worry that the baby will become addicted to the parent’s touch. This is especially recommended for babies who get startled easily. They need to be picked up and held more often.

This symptom disappears when the babies reach 5-6 months old and can start playing and entertaining themselves. Even though your baby no longer gets startled, it is important to hug and hold him/her often because in addition to expressing love, embracing also stimulates the senses. The baby is aware of the warmth and stability. 

              4. Early Discipline Building

For the first year, even if we cannot verbally teach or communicate with our children, training and creating habits for children is still possible. It is considered an important time for parents to start disciplining children from the early stage of their lives. The discipline instilled during this age trains children to do their daily activities according to schedules, whether it be eating or sleeping.

During the first month, newborns do not keep any schedule in regards to sleeping and eating, waking up almost every 3 hours to be fed. As they grow, babies can sleep through the night easier and have specific times when they get hungry. They develop these schedules until they are 6 months old, when they can be trained to follow meal times and sleep through the night. 

As babies reach the age of 4-5 months, they tend to eat less. Parents should feed them according to a schedule and avoiding feeding them late at night. Have a night time routine before bed. Do not breastfeed outside of the schedule. In addition to making the mother tired, the baby may rely too much on breastfeeding and lack interest in other activities.

              5. Playing with your Child

Playing is an activity that can help develop the nervous system and the brain in various ways. Parents should pay close attention to the "play" of children for thorough development.

Good play should be appropriate for the development of the baby in each age. Parents can find toys that help the child to use the hand to grasp, or things with different textures, colors, that stimulate sight and hearing. Focus on variety in order to allow children to practice their muscular and nervous skills.

But no matter how many toys a child has, the best playing buddies are the parents. Children have fun and are more willing to learn when parents play with them and help guide them through problems through play. When children are interested in the task at hand, the brain is stimulated to learn to its full potential.

              6. Reading

If parents want their child to love reading when they grow up and possess fluency in the spoken and written language, they should be made to spend time with books since an early age. Reading to the children is an activity that provides many benefits at the same time, such as improving language skills, practicing creativity and imagination, and helping children become observant of things. It also helps children to concentrate better as well.

Reading to your children is as important as talking to them. In reading, children learn the structure of the sentence that we use to communicate. It will help children to recognize and learn to use the right format. This development will occur when parents read to children regularly because brain development cannot happen overnight. It accumulates through repeated and constant listening to parents read. Parents can read to their child from when they are 4-5 months pregnant onwards.

In addition, while parents read books with children, they are spending quality time and creating intimacy, developing family relationships, as well as helping children become more familiar with books,.  The reading experience or storytelling before bedtime can also help to create good memories that will stick with children into their adulthood.

             7. Stop Using Screens

Even though nowadays there are various programs to help facilitate children’s development and growth,  the effect of using screens is something that must be taken into account. Many researchers found the emotional impact on children from the prolonged use of screen devices show that they become more angry, impatient, and have shorter attention spans.

At present, doctors advise that children under the age of 2 should not be allowed to play on all kinds of screen devices. On the other hand, parents should encourage their children to do physical activities to develop their muscles and movement. Children should be encouraged to experience a variety of environments and encouraged to interact with others to develop social skills appropriate for their age

In addition, if parents do not want children to become addicted to the screen, they should lead by example because most Children often imitate behavior from what they see and copy their parents’ behavior.  Adjusting the behavior in regards to using these devices cannot be forced on the child alone. The parents need to adapt as well.

8. Exercise

In the first year, the child will develop the motor skills very rapidly. Taking children to get exercise and do outdoor activities will help improve motor skills and train the muscles and nervous system as well.

At this age, the child is learning how to balance, as well as the different postures: sitting, standing, movement.  The coordination between the hands, feet, eyes as well as distance perception is also being developed. The promotion of exercise from a young age helps to keep the child healthy, develop good physical skills, as well as confidence in performing different tasks. This also affects the emotional quotient and the mood of the child, making them more cheerful and happy.

In the first year, the child does not have perfect balance yet. Children may fall over, which is considered normal. What can parents do to help? They can make sure there is no danger in the play area. In addition, the selection of diapers that fit well will help children move more agilely and never disrupt their learning. 


Source: www.rakluke.comwww.doctor.or.th  and “Bun Teuk Khun Mae” Magazine


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