How to get a u

These easy, everyday moves can help your baby — and later your toddler — further develop language, attention, và reasoning skills.
At birth, your baby"s brain contains 100 billion neurons (as many as there are stars in the Milky Way!). During your baby"s first years, they will grow trillions of brain-cell connections, called neural synapses. Pretty impressive, right?

But here’s the thing: The rule for brain wiring is to use it or chiến bại it. Synapses that are not "wired together" through stimulation are pruned and lost during a child"s school years. Although an infant"s brain does have some neurological hard-wiring, such as the ability lớn learn any language, it is more pliable and more vulnerable than a grown-up’s brain. And, amazingly, a toddler"s brain has twice as many neural connections as an adult’s.

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When you provide loving, language-enriched experiences for your baby, you are giving their brain"s neural connections và pathways more opportunities to lớn become wired together. In turn, your baby will acquire rich language, reasoning, & planning skills. These easy tips, stimulating books và supervised, interactive activities will help make sure your young child’s brain is primed for years of learning ahead.

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1. Give your baby a good start before birth. Stay healthy while you are pregnant, and be aware that certain drugs can be destructive khổng lồ your baby"s brain in utero. 

2. Turn up the baby talk. Respond khổng lồ infant coos with delighted vocalizations, và slowly draw out your syllables in a high-pitched voice as you exclaim phrases lượt thích "pretty baby.” This way of speaking is called parentese, and the exaggerated facial expressions and drawn-out vowels help your child absorb all the sounds of our language. Remember: The areas of the brain responsible for understanding speech & producing language need your rich input.

Book Pick: Baby Shark Board Book This silly sing-along story based on a well-loved tuy vậy can easily be read in parentese. Your baby will absorb the many sounds of the English language as you talk about a baby shark, mama shark, và grandpa shark, and sing the melodic “Doo doo doo!” verses in between.

3. Play games that involve hands. Activities lượt thích patty-cake, peekaboo, this little piggy, or even puppets engage your baby & capture her attention. Using your hands shows young children how we physically interact with our world — plus, hands-on activities are simply more fun for both of you!

4. Be attentive. When your young child points, be sure lớn follow with your gaze and remark on items or events of interest. This "joint attention" confirms how important your child"s interests & observations are lớn you.

5. Foster an early passion for books. Choose books with large and colorful pictures, & share your baby"s delight in pointing at certain images or even making noises that correspond with the book — lượt thích glub glub when you see a fish. Modulate the tone of your voice, simplify or elaborate on story lines, & encourage toddlers khổng lồ talk about books. Remember that building your baby"s receptive language (understanding spoken words) is more important than developing his expressive language (speaking) in infancy.

6. Build your baby"s love of her own body. Stroke her tummy & hair when reading, playing, or even diapering. Studies have shown that babies who are not often touched have brains that are smaller than normal for their age, and interacting with her close-up also helps direct her attention to your speech.

Book Pick: Peek-a-Boo, I Love You! Make reading time extra cuddly & touchy-feely with this classic book, which features a sweet storyline about unconditional love. Bonus: It comes with a soft, snuggly bear for your baby or toddler to hug!

7. Choose toys that allow babies to lớn explore & interact. Toys such as a windup jack-in-the-box or stackable blocks help your baby learn cause-and-effect relationships & "if-then" reasoning. For instance, if a child stacks too many blocks without straightening them, they fall down. If he successfully stacks blocks on đứng đầu of each other, he "wires in" that information.

8. Respond promptly when your baby cries. Soothe, nurture, cuddle, and reassure her so that you build positive brain circuitry in the limbic area of the brain, which is involved in emotions. Your calm holding & cuddling, & your day-to-day engagement with your baby, signal emotional security lớn the brain.

9. Build trust by being attentive và focused. When your child is playing, resist the temptation to kiểm tra Instagram. Instead, get on the ground và spend time interacting with him. Babies who are securely attached to lớn you emotionally will be able lớn invest more energy in the pleasures of exploration, learning, và discovery.

10. Give her a body massage. This can lower your infant"s bức xúc levels và enhance her feelings of well-being & emotional security. Loving touches even promote growth in young babies: Research has shown that premature babies who are massaged three times daily are ready lớn leave the hospital days earlier than babies who vì chưng not receive massages.

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11. Enlist help from your toddler at clean-up times. This is a wonderful way khổng lồ practice categorization. Toddlers learn that stuffed animals have one place to lớn go for "night-night" time; cars, trucks, & other vehicles also have their special storage place. Children need lớn learn about sorting into categories & seriation (placing things in order; for example, from smallest to largest) as part of their cognitive advancement in preschool.

Book Pick: How vị Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? This sweet story about a frolicsome dinosaur tasked to clean up promotes organizational skills và responsibility through loads of laughter & positive reinforcement.

12. Set up a safe environment for your crawling baby or toddler. Your di động child will begin to lớn understand spatial parameters và vocabulary such as under, over, big, little, near, and far, plus the relationship between objects of different shapes và sizes (those that are big versus little, for instance). He will start to lớn establish mental maps of his environment & a comfortable relationship with the world in which he lives.

13. Sing those nursery rhyme songs you remember. When you can, add body motions and finger play (like waving your arms during “You Are My Sunshine” or miming rain falling during “Rain, Rain, Go Away”). This helps your baby connect sounds with large & small motor actions. Songs also enhance your child"s learning of rhythms, rhymes, và language patterns.

14. Match your tempo to your child"s temperament. Some children adjust easily to strange situations — some are bold và impulsive, và some are quite shy. Go with the flow as you try to lớn increase a shy child"s courage & comfort level, or help a highly active child safely use her fantastic energy while learning impulse control. Your acceptance will give her the comfort she needs to experiment & learn freely.

Book Pick: I Love You Because You’re You Whether a youngster is feeling bashful or bold, playful or sad, a mother’s love knows no bounds in this warm book about children’s different temperaments and moods.

15. Make meals positive. Say the names of foods out loud as your baby eats. Express pleasure as he learns to lớn feed himself, no matter how messy the initial attempts may be. This will create pleasant associations with mealtime và eating. Battles & nagging about food, on the other hand, can lead khổng lồ negative brain patterns.

16. Provide clear responses khổng lồ your baby"s actions. A young, developing brain learns lớn make sense of the world if you respond to your child"s behavior in predictable, reassuring, and appropriate ways. Be as consistent as possible.

17. Use positive discipline. Create clear consequences without frightening or causing shame to lớn your child. If your toddler acts inappropriately, such as by hitting another child, get down lớn her eye level, use a low, serious tone of voice, & clearly restate the rule. Keep rules simple, consistent, và reasonable for your child"s age. Expecting a toddling baby not khổng lồ touch a glass vase on a coffee table is unreasonable, but asking a toddler not to throw sand outside of the sandbox is reasonable.

Activity Pick: Good Citizenship Flash Cards These illustrated cards take a positive, friendly approach to lớn teaching your child that we are all part of a larger community, and that certain responsibilities come with that — from never calling someone names khổng lồ recycling.

18. Mã sản phẩm empathic feelings for others. Use teachable moments when someone seems sad or upset to help your toddler learn about feelings, caring, sharing, và kindness. The more brain connections you create for empathic responses and gentle courtesies, the more these brain circuits will be wired in. This helps not only with language & cognitive learning, but with positive emotional skills, too!

Book Pick: Try a Little Kindness Every page of this sweet picture book illustrates the importance of kindness. Your child will learn just how much it means to lớn others when you tell them they’re special, mô tả a treat, & much more.

19. Arrange supervised play with messy materials. It can be water, sand, và even slime or goop! This will teach your child about the properties of liquids, solids, and mixtures — sensory experiences that are crucial for the learning brain.

20. Express joy & interest in your baby. Let your toàn thân language, your shining eyes, your attentiveness to lớn babbling và baby activities, and your gentle caresses & smiles validate the deeply lovable nature of your little one.

As always, supervise your child"s play with these toys. Some may require your help until baby is of age! 

Shop books and toys to lớn boost baby"s brain development below! You can find all books and activities at The Store.

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