How to Develop Your Baby's Brain

Babies are one of nature's most perfect learning machines. With just a little insight, a baby can be stimulated and kept content. Starting early in your baby's development can do wonders for their mental growth in later years, and give them a large head start over other kids their age.


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    Understand babies are designed to learn. Normal activities, such as feeding, diapering, playing, singing, going for a ride in the stroller, and getting kisses from Grandpa are all "educational". You do not need to do unnatural activities or intensely focus on "educational activities" for a baby to thrive.
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    Care for the baby. A baby needs a full belly, a dry diaper, a comfortable environment, and love for optimum growth.
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    Talk to the baby. Give a "play by play" of what you're doing (making a cup of tea, changing a diaper, checking the mailbox. Indulge in baby talk; it's specifically designed to stimulate a baby. Read a book together.
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    Sing to the baby. Sing nursery rhymes, TV jingles, your favorite songs.
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    Play with the baby. Classic games like "Peek-A-Boo", kissing the baby's tummy, rolling a ball back and forth on are great baby activities. Dance with the baby in your arms.
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    Go outside A stroller ride can be very stimulating, visiting strange new places like the post office, bakery, park, and so on.
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    Stretch and massage. Babies love to move their bodies. Learn baby massage and baby yoga, which help calm, invigorate, and stimulate. But simply moving the baby in a way he or she likes (like clapping hands, rocking back and forth, "So Big!") is great exercise, and gently rubbing baby down with baby massage oil is great for tactile development.
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    Procure a play gym or activity gym. These tend to be a firm favorite with babies from newborn up to about 12 months. They mostly come in the form of comfortable, quilted or softly padded play mats, sometimes raised at the edges with a space in the middle for baby. They can consist of detachable, hanging parts for small babies to try to grasp. They tend to have parts that are crinkly, soft, scrunchy textures for baby to touch, squeeze and stroke. Some come with bright twinkling lights and bells and others make funny sounds, or musical sounds, and some even do both.
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    Look around. Babies are fascinated by things adults take for granted: Cars zooming outside the window, fish tanks, trees blown by the wind, tumbling clothes in the dryer.
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    Pick the right toys for the right age. Be sure the toy is appropriate for the baby. While a 4 month old may find a mirror fascinating, a 6 day old won't be able to see it clearly and a 12 month old might be bored by it. Usually educational toys have a developmental age range on the package as a guide. Be sure any toy is safe, appropriate, and clean.
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    Repeat everything you teach your baby. The more your repeat things like showing a baby how to scrunch up a ball, the quicker the connections between neurons are formed. Therefore, it naturally follows that the more positive interaction you give an infant or toddler, the more you are helping to stimulate young brains. This stimulation causes new connections to form neural pathways and strengthens existing ones. But once he or she acts bored, stop.
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    Have fun with baby. Generally speaking, anything the baby thinks is fun is stimulating and educational. Don't worry if the baby is learning; if he or she is having a good time, he or she is learning something important.
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    Know when to stop. If the baby starts to fuss, cry, or act bored, it's time to stop. Over-stimulation, fatigue, or bodily needs will interfere with learning. If the baby is unhappy, it's time to move on to something else.
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    Teach your baby a second language. The knowledge of a second language gives them many advantages and the best time to start is between 0 and 3 years as it is easier for your child to pick up unique sounds.


  • Babies are naturally attracted to things that are brightly colored, have bold patterns, are shiny, and make soft noises like rattling or crinkling.
  • Pick interactive toys, which the baby needs to manipulate. Avoid toys that may make fun music, but do not need much input from the baby.
  • Buy a child's sign language program. Put it on the TV and let them watch it. You do the signs for the child. The child will not of course do it, but in a month or so, the child will remember and will know it. Do this on a daily basis, holding the baby, and playing with the sign language. This system works!
  • Get toys that are a bit older than the age marked on the toy.
  • You can NOT spoil a baby under 12 months. Your baby needs a lot of love, acceptance, and attention. Hold your baby, rock your baby, pay a lot of positive attention to them, and say "I love you." as often as possible. Give kisses and hugs.


  • Choking is a real danger in baby play. If an item can pass through a toilet paper tube, it is not safe for a baby. Be sure all toys are designed for infants, have no small removable parts, are in good condition, and have no recalls.
  • Avoid baby videos, DVDs, or TV shows. These do not promote healthy natural learning.

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Categories: Babies and Infants