Encouraging Baby Development

Encouraging Baby Development

Watching your little one say their first words, grab for objects, or flash a smile while looking right at you are moments you live for.

As a parent, ensuring your baby is developing properly is important. You are constantly working to keep them safe, teach them, and offer all the support they need to learn and grow.

Before we go through how to encourage healthy brain development for your baby, let’s start with reviewing all the brain controls. 

The brain has four lobes, with the frontal lobes being the largest. The three other lobes are the Occipital Lobes, Parietal Lobes, and Temporal Lobes. Each lobe plays an integral role in how we function as human beings.

The Frontal Lobes control motor skills. The Occipital Lobes enable us to send and receive visual information. The Parietal Lobes interpret signals simultaneously from other parts of the brain to help us give meaning to objects.

The Temporal Lobes are located on the right and left sides of the brain. The right side helps us recognize things such as people “put a face to the name,” and the left side helps us remember verbal information. 

While we’ve made brain functioning sound rather simple, it’s extremely complex. To be a great parent, you don’t need to understand the ins and outs of the brain, but you should understand the basics.

You should also listen to teachers, doctors, and other sources of influence and observe your baby to identify areas they may need support. Keep reading as we explore how to encourage brain development in a baby, with proper sleep playing an important role. 

How can I encourage my baby's brain development?

There are several ways you can encourage your baby’s brain development. Let’s review. 

  1. Encourage adequate and good sleep: Sleep is critical for healthy development. Try to understand cues that your baby is tired and or create a schedule that supports plenty of sleep. Your baby may need help from the right environment to sleep solutions to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Sleeping usually means being separated from human contact, which can send your baby into a panic. Weighted sleep solutions are a proven way to help naturally reduce stress for a baby. Shop our weighted sleep solutions, including swaddles and sleep sacks, and help your baby (and you) get the sleep you need and deserve. 
  2. Keep your infant active: While it might seem as if your baby does not understand anything, that will change quickly. Start reading to your baby in the first month, move their legs and arms gently, and continue to find activities that are suitable for their stage of development. Helping your baby explore movement and making them feel involved can help them gain confidence and security while boosting mental development. 
  3. Repetition: Doing the same things over and over again can help your baby learn faster. It can also help them gain confidence. From how you sound out words to the books you read, repetition and a consistent approach can benefit your baby. 
  4. Engage your baby’s sense of touch: From ruffle toys and rattles to soft stuffed animals, provide your baby with toys to feel. Give your baby one or two toys at a time to help them learn to focus on objects. As they get older, you can incorporate things to touch in games they play to promote cognitive development. 

How can I encourage my baby to develop physically?

Physical development for a baby can include milestones such as rolling over, crawling, and walking. It can also include ensuring your baby is the right weight and growing properly. Interacting with your child is one way to ensure they are happy, encouraging them to want to eat and play.

Activities such as tummy time or face time (work on eye contact) should be incorporated into a daily routine when appropriate based on the baby's age to promote physical development.

Rattle or noisy and interactive toys such as jumpers, swings, and mobiles are another way to encourage physical development. The foundation of proper physical development is adequate nutrition and sleep, and a safe environment.

Every baby is different, so it’s important to stay connected with your doctor and other professional resources to ensure you are doing what needs to be done for your baby. To help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, try one of our weighted sleep solutions

How do I know if my baby is developing normally?

Little signs such as sleeping and eating can indicate a happy and healthy baby. With so many stages of baby development, though, it can be hard to know if your baby is developing normally. Here are some milestones to look for in the first six months that can help reassure you that your baby is developing normally. 

  • 1 Month:
    • Recognizing the sounds of familiar voices
    • Noticing faces
    • Moving hands closer to their face
  • 2 Months:
    • Starting to smile at people
    • New sounds beyond crying (example - coo)
    • Following objects with their eyes
    • Holds head up when lying on their stomach
  • 3 Months:
    • Open and close hands 
    • Tries to touch moving objects 
    • People recognition (primarily parents)
    • Noticeable enjoyment from playing
  • 4 Months:
    • Giggling noises
    • Starts supporting their own head 
    • Mimics facial expressions
    • Pushes up to elbows from their tummy
  • 5 Months: 
    • Rolling over more
    • Start to entertain themselves
    • Awareness of strangers
  • 6 Months:
    • Rolls over from tummy to back
    • Recognizes themself in a mirror
    • Passing things between hands
    • Creeping along the floor
    • Puts more things in their mouth (hello teeth)
    • May start to understand simple words

Remember, babies can develop faster or slower. If you have any concerns, talk to your pediatrician. 

How do you stimulate an intelligent baby?

Babies might not hold a conversation with you, but they understand more than you think. Naturally, some babies need more interaction and or stimulation. If they do, give it to them. One way to stimulate an intelligent baby is to turn up the baby talk. Pick up on their cues and sounds and react to them. This leads us to our next tip - be attentive. Notice the things your baby is focusing on and leverage them to teach them the world. You can also leverage them to identify support they might need or crave. As your baby transforms into a toddler, you can involve them in household chores or cooking. Keeping them involved can stimulate their brain while boosting their confidence. 

What week is most important for baby brain development?

Beginning around week 5, a fetus starts developing a brain, but it isn’t until week 6 or 7 that the neural tube closes and the brain separates into three parts. During this time, neurons and synapses begin to develop in the spinal cord. These developments allow the fetus to start making some of their first movements. 

What are 3 ways that you can increase the development of an infant's brain?

There are numerous ways you can support healthy development for your infant. Some ways even involve just having fun with your baby. Three ways you can increase brain development include getting to know your baby, having fun with your baby, and play games with your baby. 

What slows down baby development?

Some babies may develop slower than others without explanation. If you feel your baby is experiencing developmental delays, talk to your pediatrician as soon as possible. Some developmental delays can be corrected with proper support and or treatment. Birth defects can also cause developmental delays. Developmental delays may not surface from the getgo so it’s important to monitor your baby’s development continuously. 

Does talking to a baby influence brain development?

Hearing is a sense that babies are born with. Around 18 weeks of pregnancy, your baby can start to hear voices outside the womb. Start talking to your baby, and don’t stop. It can literally shape their brain. 

What foods are best for baby brain development?

Certain foods are known for fueling brain development.

  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Lean beef (or meat alternative)
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans

Does music help baby development?

Music can strengthen the development of cognitive and sensory development. Music can also help calm your baby. Double win. 

Does responding to a baby's crying help brain development?

Babies cry, and some cry often. While you may not always be able to comfort them right away, it’s best to avoid letting your baby cry for extended periods. It may impact their neuropsychological development, which can surface around 6 months to 3 years of age. There are varying opinions on this matter, so do your research and make the decisions you feel are best for your baby. 

What part of pregnancy is most important for brain development?

While the brain develops throughout pregnancy, during the third trimester, though, your baby’s brain triples in size. The brain is a vital organ that is important at every stage of development. 

How can you tell if your child is developmentally delayed?

There are a few signs that a child might be experiencing developmental delays. Among the more obvious are delays in milestones or trouble with motor skills or movement, such as rolling over, crawling, first words, or a social disconnect. As they get older, you may notice they are withdrawn and disengaged from people and other children. The sooner you can identify potential delays, the sooner you can get your child support to help with delays. Speak up about any concerns with your pediatrician.

What makes babies happy?

Children thrive off love and confidence, among other things. The best thing you can do to have a happy baby is to be attentive to them. Make eye contact and be present. Show them they are loved and help them learn the world. In addition, make sure they are getting plenty of sleep. Help your baby sleep with weighted sleep solutions that work to naturally reduce stress while helping babies feel safe and secure. 

What toys help with perceptual development?

Perceptual development is how a child takes in and responds to sensory input. It allows babies to adapt and react to their environment as a response to their senses. Here are some toys that can help with perceptual development.

  • Plush toys: Plush or stick figure toys such as a puppet can be used to play with your baby and work on their ability to track items. 
  • Books: Books can help your baby start to understand words, sounds, and even textures, depending on the book.
  • Soft blocks: You can stack blocks for your baby until they are able to. This can teach your baby perception and spatial awareness. 
  • Musical instruments: Musical instruments can promote hand-eye coordination while allowing babies to hear and create sound. 

Infants love toys. Choosing toys that can also promote healthy development can be a double-win. 

What are 4 ways that you can promote language development?

As you anticipate your baby’s first words, you’re probably trying every trick in the book to lure the words out. Once the first word comes out, it’s off to the races, and the tricks will continue. Here are four ways you can promote language development.

  1. Start with short sounds such as ma or da
  2. Make eye contact when making sounds 
  3. Interact with your baby by responding when they make faces or laughs
  4. Teach your baby what to do, for example, clapping their hands or playing peek-a-boo

Conclusion

Being a parent is one of life’s greatest gifts. As you witness your baby grow into the person they are meant to be, you may wonder how to support their development along the way.

Remember, development is different from personality. By interacting with your baby and having fun with them, you can promote brain development. Getting to know your baby is critical as well.

Let them guide you. They may not be able to tell you what they need, but soon you will just know. Ensuring your baby gets adequate sleep is important for healthy development.

With frequent sleep regressions, teething, and other sleep interruptions, you and your baby might be running on little sleep. Weighted sleep solutions are proven to naturally reduce stress while promoting better sleep for your baby - and you too.

At Dreamland, our weighted sleep solutions are designed with tired parents in mind. From user-friendly designs to CoverCalm® Technology, our weighted sleep solutions are proven to help babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

We pay attention to the details.

Sleep matters. Shop Dreamland today for sleep solutions that work!

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