A baby’s brain is wired for learning so it can be simple for parents to stimulate their baby’s mind. Too often people assume that they don’t have the resources to give their little one an enriching environment. The truth is, everyday moments provide the perfect opportunity for learning.
It doesn’t take much money or time to expose a little one to thought-provoking activities. All it takes is a little bit of awareness and creativity to take advantage of a baby’s love for exploring. We hope you enjoy this list of 10 daily habits to boost your baby’s brain.
10 Chat All Day
A simple way to stimulate your baby’s brain is to talk to them. Be chatty as you go through your day and give them a running commentary of what you’re doing. It may feel silly at first, since they won’t understand you but they are listening, for sure.
For example, if you’re in the kitchen, walk them through cooking dinner or loading the dishwasher. This will stimulate the brain to respond to language. An added bonus is that it makes even the most mundane task fun. Your baby will be your captive audience and be entertained by everyday tasks when you chat them up.
9 Read Lots Of Books
Boost your baby’s brain power by reading to them every day. Have several books on-hand so that you have plenty of options. A great time to read to them is at bedtime. It’s the perfect wind-down activity and also offers some extra snuggle time if you put your little one in your lap.
Reading isn’t just for bedtime, though. Any opportunity you have during the day to share a good book will stimulate their brain. They’ll also grow up with a love of books. Run your finger beneath each word and watch your baby follow along. They will totally be mesmerized.
8 Eye Contact Is Crucial
One of the most important things you can do for your baby is to give them eye contact. Their little brains are searching for a connection and eye contact provides crucial bonding with your baby. So, if they’re looking up at you, return their gaze, and hold it. Watch their little face light up as you connect with each other.
A great time for to establish eye contact is during feedings. Rather breastfeeding or the bottle, when you cradle them in your arms, be sure to look down at them. It can be so dreamy to get lost in your baby’s eyes and it gives them much-needed stimulation.
7 Let Them Feel Their World
A really fun way to boost your baby’s IQ is to allow them to touch the world around them. Infants are curious by nature and are also very tactile. So, hoist them in your arms and carry them in front of you. Then present all sorts of things for them to explore.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Carry them to the bathroom and let them feel the shower curtain. Be sure to talk to them about textures. They’ll be thrilled to discover how their home feels in their fingers. Take them outside and run their toes through the grass or let them grasp a leaf on a branch above their head.
6 Breastfeeding Is Best
The nutrients in breast milk can give your baby’s brain a big boost. New moms are being encouraged to nurse their babies instead of feeding them formula because of all the good effects it has on an infants body. From boosting their immunity to stimulating their brains, breast really is best.
However, not all moms are able to breastfeed. Rather it is caused by a short milk supply or the baby simply can’t latch on, complications can make nursing impossible. It’s totally okay to bottle feed as well. Don’t beat yourself up if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you and your baby.
5 Let Them Play With Their Food
Mealtime offers a great opportunity to challenge your baby’s mind. The best thing you can do is let them play with their food. They’ll tap into the tactile part of their brain and exploring what’s on their plate provides them with much-needed sensory integration.
If they throw food on the floor it can be easy to lose your patience but it’s really a sign of curiosity. They are simply learning cause and effect. Try to your best to be patient and allow your little one some fun while they eat. Playfulness can go a long way when it comes to a baby’s developing mind.
4 Talk About Cause And Effect
Your baby is very in tune with your movements and is often watching your actions. Another fantastic way to boost your baby’s mind power is to talk to them about cause and effect. It doesn’t have to be presented as a science lesson but can be as simple as adding it to your running commentary.
For example, if you turn on the faucet, talk to them about it as you turn the handle about how your action makes the water run. When you pour juice into a cup, talk about how the pitcher works.
3 Make Up Silly Songs
Baby’s love to hear singing so a playful way to stimulate them is to sing silly songs. They’ll be so excited if you sing a little tune as you go about your day. If it’s hard for you to think of lyrics then just sing a running commentary about what you’re doing.
Make a little rhyme about taking a bath and label their body parts as they have bath time. They also enjoy games like Patty Cake so you can always sing beloved nursery rhymes if you’re just too tired to be creative. Either way, your little one will have a blast listening to you sing.
2 Let Them Be Your Grocery Store Helper
The grocery store is a great place to engage your child’s mind. Shopping can be mundane but it also offers an environment for learning. Include your little one as you walk about and down the aisles. Talk to them about the colors in the packaging or let them touch the fruit before you put it in the cart.
Resist the urge to hand your cell phone over to your toddler to entertain them while you shop. We all need a break sometimes but engaging with your baby will make a trip to the grocery store so much more fun.
1 Make Math Fun
Children who are exposed to numbers at a young age grow up to have a love for math. Take every opportunity you have to count to your little one. Help them count their Cheerios at they eat breakfast or count blocks as you stack them up together.
The more exposure that they have to numbers, the more likely they are to start counting on their own. So make a game out of sorting out their toys or sing songs about counting. You’ll foster a love of numbers that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.