Written byHayley Chalkley
Published inFebruary 9, 2023
- Cognitive activities for babies develop your baby's brain.
- Early childhood is a time of intense cognitive development, and your baby is a learning machine.
- Your love and attention will help develop a healthy brain and may even protect against the negative effects of stress.
While learning never stops, your baby's early years are the most labor intensive when it comes to developing their brain. More neural connections are made in the first three years than at any other time in your baby's life.
The best way to support your child's cognitive development is with a warm and loving relationship, a safe space to explore, and plenty of time to reflect and process this exciting new world.
Sounds easy, but caring for a baby is a LOT.
Maybe you don't have the energy to think about adding activities to the mix, or you worry that you're not doing enough, or that you'll get tired if you try to do too much.
Rest assured that supporting your baby's cognitive abilities doesn't mean adding more to your to-do list.
The following activities will boost your baby's cognitive skills and help you and your baby connect and relax.So let's dig a little deeper and find out more about cognitive development.
Cognitive development in babies: everything you need to know
While physical development describes how the body grows, cognitive development is about the brain and how your baby learns thinking skills.This may seem really complicated and scary, but cognitive development is happening all the time.
Babies are born ready to learn.
Your baby's senses (hearing, smell, taste, touch and sight) have started to develop in the womb. When they are born they must:
- He recognizes your voice and your smell.
- Have a complete set of taste buds.
- Twists head when stroking cheek.
- Hold your finger as you place it in your palm.
This early start in gathering sensory information will help your baby get used to the place where he was born.A study in Germanyfound that newborns cry in their mother tongue, which matches their mothers' speech pattern.
Every moment is a learning opportunity, but your baby's favorite source of information is you. You are not only their first language and movement model, but also their emotional barometer. Seeing how you react helps your baby understand the world.
At first, your baby absorbs sensations without a filter and does not yet know what will be important. Over time, repeated events leave a lasting impression, and the baby's brain organizes and prioritizes the information it receives.
search in norwaywarns that trying to rush a child's development can be counterproductive, but your baby's brain needs stimulation to grow.
What can you do to support your baby's cognitive development?
In addition to planned cognitive development activities, your daily interactions with your child are an opportunity to teach and encourage cognitive development.
love your baby
AStudium 2014 in Chinafound that securely attached children performed better on cognitive assessments.
Use routine activities like feeding and changing as natural reminders to slow down and focus on your baby. Take time to pick up toys, play games, and make funny faces with your child to make them feel loved.
Breastfeed as long as possible.
Breast milk is the perfect source of nourishment for your baby, protecting it from disease and infection and making it smarter.
In 2021, Liangying Hou et ala review of 15 studieswho discovered that breastfeeding leads to higher intelligence scores.
You must take care of yourself to meet your baby's needs.
Stress interrupts learning and babies are overly sensitive to their emotions; So get support where you can and prioritize your mental and physical health.
Let your baby play.
even the eldestgame phasesThey are critical to learning.
Allow time for your baby to observe, explore and experiment. This may not sound like much at first, but free play is essential to developing these important connections in your baby's brain and developing creativity and focus.
Follow your baby's lead.
respect your baby Let them know what you're doing and see how they react. You will soon learn to understand their signals.
By respecting their preferences as much as possible, you gain the trust and closeness that will set the tone for a strong and supportive relationship for years to come.
6 cognitive activities for babies from 0 to 3 months
1. Baby clothes
Carry your baby in a carrier orBabytragegives a different view of the world and promotes observation, balance and language skills. Your baby enjoys being close while you have your hands free.
2. Baby massage
Touch is one of the most developed senses at birth. massaging is relaxingsensory activity for babies, relieves stress and releases hormones that promote growth and bonding.
3. Tell about your day
Your baby loves the sound of your voice, and listening helps them learn language, relationships, and attention skills. Leave enough space for them to join in the conversation.
Books give your baby access to a large vocabulary and much more about the world. It's never too early to read to your baby, and family stories enrich any nighttime routine.
Using different voices for different characters and choosing books with bright colors and different textures can help keep your child interested as they read together.
5. Decorate with art
Your baby's sight is the last sense to develop. In particular, hang mobile phones and photos with contrasting colorsBlack and white pictures, describe what you see and write down what you notice.
6. Show your joy
Your baby is learning a lot about the world from you, but more importantly, she's learning about herself. Rejoicing in seeing her and enjoying her existence builds confidence and curiosity, strong foundations for the cognitive development.
6 cognitive activities for babies from 3 to 6 months
7. Keep talking
Speaking is a fantastic learning tool and lots of eye contact with your baby will encourage participation, build strong bonds and support language development.
8. Ground time
Don't worry too much about tummy time - most babies prefer to lie on their back. Everything you needHelp your baby turn overit's been a long time on the floor. When they are ready, they will find out.tummy timefor themselves.
9. Look in the mirror
Babies are fascinated by faces and love mirrors. Whether you're picking them up to share the experience or giving them their own mini-mirror, it helps improve eye tracking and increase your daily dose of eye contact.
10. Duchess together
From the wonders of simple science experiments to the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, bath time effortlessly adds a variety of cognitive activities to your day. If your baby isn't a fan, it can be more relaxing for both of you to get in the bath with him.
Regardless of the weather, the great outdoors is full of new and exciting sensations. Give your baby a daily dose of vitamin D, improve sleep, and inspire an enduring love of nature simply by visiting the park, going on a day trip, or relaxing in the garden.
12. Treasure Baskets
Spark your baby's curiosity with a collection of everyday objects to hold and explore. Your baby loves a multi-sensory experience, so choose natural, non-toxic products that don't pose an uncomfortable choking hazard.
6 cognitive activities for babies from 6 to 12 months
13. Play hide and seek
Your baby will love the hide and seek game. Add in a dash of cheer and action rhymes throughout the day and you have the perfect recipe for improving memory, focus and social skills.
14. Make some music
many ofbest baby toyThey are musical, but you can also make your own. lullabies,children's poems, homemade cocktail shakers and wooden spoons banging on overturned saucepans bring joy and encourage brain development.
15. What's in the bag?
Take a pillowcase and fill it with your baby's favorite things. Pull them out one by one for an easy guessing game, or let your baby dive deep to see what they can find - great exercise for developing fine motor skills.
16. Sorting and Stacking
Stacking blocks and cups is a great cognitive activity that helps develop baby's concentration, coordination and decision-making skills.
17. Sign Language
LearnSign language with your babyIt can be a lot of fun and reduce frustration when your baby finds new ways to express needs.
18. Prolongs nighttime relaxation
As your baby becomes more mobile and independent, you may spend less time together during the day. They still need a lot of attention and may want more at night. Increasing bedtime allows you to spend more time together and minimize stress and discomfort, giving your baby's brain more resources to learn.
frequently asked questions
What Foods Are Good For Brain Development In Babies?
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby and supports your baby's physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. EITHERAmerican Academy of Pediatricsrecommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to continue along with the introduction of solid foods through to two years of age and beyond.
What are the signs of an intelligent baby?
Intelligence is difficult to define and measure, and development is neither a race nor strictly linear. Your baby develops at his own pace, gaining unique skills, knowledge and understanding that will continue to develop throughout his life.
Unconditional love and strong relationships help most babies thrive, but see your doctor if your baby:
- Avoid eye contact.
- lack of curiosity
- Not moving toward developmental milestones.
- Shows signs of adelayed cognitive development.
How do rattles help babies' cognitive development?
A classic baby toy, rattles can encourage visual and auditory tracking, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.
If you leave a rattle near your baby, he can reach out and pick it up if he wants to, but that's not essential for a baby. Your baby will learn a lot more from your interactions with you and the natural sensations of the world, so don't worry if your baby isn't interested in his rattle.