Boost your baby's brain power

Activites help your baby learn

SAN ANTONIO, TX - A baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons when they’re born, and those first three years of life are crucial to connecting those neurons and creating more. But what’s the best way to do that? Do things like baby Einstein videos and Mozart music give your baby a developmental edge? We’ll walk through what’s been proven to work, and what has been debunked.

Remember the 1990s craze of the Mozart effect? Exposing your baby to Mozart music may be soothing, but it won’t make them smarter. That theory has since been debunked by numerous studies.

A study of educational videos, such as baby Einstein, found they may actually delay a baby’s brain growth. One reason may be because they replace what infants need the most the first few years of life: face-to-face interactions.

That kind of cooing baby talk is the best thing you can do to build strong brain connections that will help them learn words faster.

Games involving hands, movement and noise, like simply moving a rattle in front of their eyes, will also stimulate brain development.

Even though infants lack the coordination to grab and pick up objects, when researchers outfitted infants with Velcro-covered mittens and let them play with Velcro-covered toys, they found it opened up a new way of exploring.

Any Needham, an psychologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennesse, told Ivanhoe, “It’s setting into motion new processes, new opportunities for learning that babies then take advantage of.”

It shows that infants are likely ready to learn long before they develop coordination skills.

Additionally, some research shows that teaching a typically developing baby sign language helped them learn to communicate at an earlier age – some babies learned as young as five months old. Researchers say, if anything, learning sign language cut down on the number of tantrums you usually see during a child’s “terrible twos” because crying and whining were replaced with signing as children were able to easily communicate what they want, need and feel.

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