You want your child to have every opportunity to succeed in life. That means ensuring they grow into intelligent, capable individuals.
Luckily, this can be easy (and fun). There are simply many ways to promote healthy mental development in children of any age. Even if your kid is still a baby, there is plenty you can do to set them up for success later on. The following are some of the more noteworthy ideas to consider.
Provide Them with Nutrients
This may be a relatively basic point, but it’s very important to keep in mind. The CDC points out that a child’s brain begins developing even before they are technically born. Thus, it’s crucial to get proper nutrition when you are pregnant, and to provide your child with all key nutrients when they are a baby. Consult with your doctor to learn what your baby’s specific needs are, and how you can ensure they are met.
Again, promoting healthy mental and cognitive development in a baby can be a lot more fun than you might realize. Simply playing with them regularly often yields major results in the long run.
This makes sense when you consider what “play” actually involves. When a child plays in a structured way, with rules and objectives, they learn how to perform tasks correctly, they gain greater control over their own bodies, and they experience stimulating emotions that help the brain grow. These are all reasons early childhood educators stress the value of playtime. It’s much more vital to a baby’s development than some people realize.
You probably already know it’s important to talk to your baby. The more exposure they get to language, the more quickly they will learn how to understand it, and how to communicate with it.
Experts also recommend singing to your baby. Specifically, it’s best to sing simple tunes with repetitive phrases and melodies. This helps babies become familiar with new ways of using language. After all, there’s a reason people have been singing nursery rhymes to babies for ages: it works.
Babies need to learn about their own relationship with the world. That’s why childhood development experts recommend installing mirrors throughout your home. Simply being able to see themselves helps babies develop this fundamental aspect of cognition.
It’s no secret that babies get, well, “upset” fairly often. This is particularly true during the early stages of their development. The world can seem a scary and intimidating place to someone who is experiencing it for the first time.
Thus, it’s important to calm your child when they are upset or frightened. Doing so calms the brain in general, guarding against stunted mental and cognitive development.
Bring Toys Into the Bath
When helping your child grow into a healthy and happy adult, it’s always a good idea to look for opportunities to stimulate their mind that you may have overlooked if you didn’t consider their potential value.
For example, pediatricians recommend bringing cups and containers along when bathing your child. Your baby will most likely play with them, filling them up with water, pouring water from one container into another, pouring water out into the bath, etc.
This activity is more valuable than you might realize. According to pediatricians, it helps babies learn early math skills, as well as the principles of cause and effect.
Of course, you should also read to your child, show them attention, and limit their screen time. The basics are still important. You can simply boost your child’s odds of succeeding in life by keeping these points in mind too!