Looking out for a baby’s growth is essential as it is the developmental stage to insure that the baby brain will grow healthy and smart. Check out the article we found at Ask Dr Sears.
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New insights into how baby brains grow show that parents can have a profound effect on how smart their child later becomes. The brain grows more during infancy than at any other time, doubling its volume and reaching approximately 60% of its adult size by year one! As the brain grows, nerve cells, (called neurons) proliferate, resembling miles of tangled electrical wire. The infant is born with much of this wiring unconnected. During the first year, these neurons grow larger, learn to work better, and connect with each other to make circuits, which enable baby to think and do more things.
How the Brain Circuits Work
The tip of each neuron resemble finger-like feelers attempting to make connections with other nerves. During development two important improvements are made on the growing infant’s nervous system.
- The number of connections between neurons increases
- Each neuron acquires a coating called myelin, which helps the message move faster and insulates the nerves, preventing short circuits.
This new and exciting field is called neurobiology, which in essence tells us that the more connections the nerve cells make, the smarter the child’s brain.
Make a Difference in Your Baby’s Brain Development
During the last decade, exciting new research has given parents and infant-care professionals a deeper understanding of how a baby’s brain develops. Baby brain growth used to be viewed as a sort of a developmental elevator. At each floor the door automatically opens and a new skill gets on. Given a reasonable amount of nurturing, healthcare, and adequate nutrition, the brain grows, and babies would graduate from one developmental stage to another at a pace determined both by nature (inherited genes) and nurture (parenting practices and learning stimuli). The interplay between nature and nurture determines how a baby’s brain develops.
This simplistic view of baby brain growth is partially true, but there’s more. While it is true that each baby’s potential is partially determined by genetics, how close the infant comes to reaching her potential is greatly determined by the responsiveness and nurturing of her caregiving environment.
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