It does not take a genius to help your child develop his intellectual potential. You just need to be a loving mother or father and involved in the growth of your child.
Here are some fun and simple ways to help your little ones develop their intelligence:
- Create a strong bond with your baby
According to Tracy Cutchlow, editor of the book “Brain Rules for Baby,” the brain is programmed to seek safety and if it does not feel safe, it can not learn. That’s why it’s so important to make your baby feel safe.
These tips will help your child feel safe:
It establishes skin-to-skin contact from the beginning.
Spend time face to face (let him observe your face and learn from your gestures).
Give him massages.
Talk to him often.
Load it on rebozos or other baby carriers.
Creating a safe environment can be difficult when you have a newborn and you are dealing with lack of sleep, your social life seems to have disappeared and you have new responsibilities. But a solid relationship with your partner is one of the best ways to make your baby feel safe.
Crutchlow suggests making a to-do list and reaching an agreement with your partner about who will do what. It also recommends having good communication and supports each other, in the emotional and difficult moments that may arise.
If you and your partner get to have a discussion in front of the baby, do not worry, since that usually happens. But make sure you re-establish a sense of security by making peace with your baby. Babies do not understand the words, but the emotions between you and your partner affect them
- Waste your day
Experts recommend that you talk to your baby a lot. The brain is an organ that looks for patterns, explains Jill Stamm, an expert in early brain development and author of the book “Bright from the start” (Bright From the Start). The more language patterns you hear, the easier it will be for you to learn.
Crutchlow suggests telling your baby the day. “The thoughts are there all the time, and although we would not normally say everything out loud, vocalizing information constantly improves your baby’s brain capacity.”
The children they spoke to frequently, by the time they are 3 years old, usually have an IQ 1.5 times higher than those they did not speak to. In addition, children who were exposed to language more frequently have more reading, speaking and writing skills when they attend preschool.
But how to plant the seed of good language development? There are three key points: the number of words, the variety, and complexity of the words and the way you say them.
When you narrate your day, you are naturally using all kinds of words, and when you add descriptions like “red car” and “coffee is very loaded”, you add more flavor to the language your baby is getting to know.
The tone of your voice is also important. Have you used, almost without realizing it, that half contadino and exaggerated tone of voice with your baby? (Like “Hoooolaaa neeenaaa!”). Well, it has its scientific reason, the scholars of the subject say that it is an excellent way to help your baby’s brain to distinguish the language because each vowel sounds very different. That tone helps children separate sounds into categories and high tones are easier to imitate.
Jill adds that parents tend to talk less to their children if they do not start babbling. However, do not let the silences of your little one stop you, keep talking to him, since it is proven that this makes it easier for them to learn the language.
- Spend “face to face” time
Do you want to make funny faces to your baby? Do it! Remember that you will be promoting your brain development.
Recent studies show that babies begin to recognize their parents‘ facial expressions at 3 or 4 months of age and do not stop there. At 5 months, babies can understand emotions on faces of unknown people. Between 7 and 9 months, they can understand the gestures of a dog or a monkey too.
Emotions are one of the first ways a baby can communicate, says Ross Flom, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University in Utah. Learning to read facial expressions is the basis of nonverbal communication.
Good verbal communication will have positive effects on your baby as an adult. You will have a better performance in teamwork, fewer discussions, and stronger and more lasting relationships.
Time “face to face” is never too much, but see if your baby seems too stimulated. The brain needs pauses. So if your baby starts to look the other way or seems to have lost interest, do not force it, better give him a few minutes to process what he has learned.
- Less time in the “container”
According to Stamm, children today spend a lot of time in “containers”: strollers, car seats and other things that restrict their movement.
Many babies spend hours in infant car seats every day, even if they are not in the car. Of course, safety comes first. Stamm refers to the importance of limiting the time the child spends in car seats and other “containers” outside the car.
Why? Because babies need to be able to respond to external stimuli. For this, they need to move freely and see up, down, front and back. They need to follow the signals they receive in their eyes and ears.
This is the first phase of the development of your child’s care system, which is formed at an early age, explains Stamm. This establishes the foundations for a better capacity for concentration.
- Points out
Studies show that children learn language faster if you point to the object when saying the word.
At first, your baby will look at you when you point to something. When it grows a little, it will begin to look at what you are pointing with your finger. By 9 months, most babies begin to follow your finger pointing and notice what you point out, Flom says.
Around 9 or 10 months, babies begin to bring you objects to teach you. This sharing interaction is called “joint attention”. This means that your child has developed the ability to relate to you through something (something other than the two of you).
What can you do to promote this skill? Keep pointing out things and talking about them. Your baby may not understand the words at the beginning, but communication with him will become increasingly complex.
You could take him to the zoo, for example, and point to a particular animal and describe it to him. This helps the development of their social, cognitive and language skills.