How to Play with Your Baby For Brain Development
Did you know that the most important interaction you can give your child is playing with them? Dr. Jack Shonkoff of Harvard University explains the most important thing parents can do to support their child’s brain development. Parenting is more of an art than a science.
The early years are so important because young children’s experiences and relationships with important people in their lives literally shape brain development. And that initial foundation influences all the learning and behavior as well as physical and mental health that take place throughout life.
The first thing your baby will learn is to associate the feel of your touch, the sound of your voice, and the sight of your face with getting his or her needs for comfort and food met. You can encourage your newborn to learn by stimulating your newborn’s senses in positive ways — with smiles, smoothing sounds, and gentle caresses.
Playing together helps you and your baby get to know each other. Through playing, you learn to trust and depend on each other, and the bond between you deepens. Playing together helps your newborn feel loved and secure. Feeling loved and secure helps babies to develop and learn.
Playing with your baby helps baby learn to talk and understand words. You might not always have time to stop everything and play. But you can still chat to your newborn about whatever is going on – cooking dinner, shopping, getting the bath ready and anything else that you’re doing. Singing to your child has the same benefits.
Newborns’ little bodies and senses are extra sensitive so playtime should aim to stimulate all of your baby’s senses the first few weeks.