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The power of love: How does it shape your baby’s brain?

parents watching over their newborn baby

Key points:

  1. The first three years of life are crucial for a baby’s brain development, forming many synapse connections.
  2. Positive experiences during this time contribute to secure attachment, resilience, self-esteem, and overall development.
  3. Bond with your baby through activities like breastfeeding, cuddling, carrying, reading, singing, and talking.
  4. The most valuable thing you can give your baby is your time, love, and support; these are essential for their well-being and development.

“Imagine if the hugs, lullabies, and smiles from parents could inoculate babies against heartbreak, adolescent angst, and even help them pass their exams decades later.” (Winston & Chicot, 2016)

During the first three years of life, your baby will develop 90% of their adult brain size. This rapid growth accounts for 700–1000 synapse connections being formed each second. The experiences your baby is subjected to, whether positive or negative, are crucial to this early wiring and pruning that enables millions and millions of new connections to be formed. The importance of connecting with your baby can go a long way in ensuring their secure attachment to others, resilience, self-esteem, building of relationships, and overall development.

There are plenty of ways you can bond and make the most of this time with your little one. So, whether you’re a stay at home parent or rocking a full-time job, there’s always bits and pieces you can do to show your little one your love.

  1. Breastfeeding: If you can, that skin-to-skin contact provides reassurance for your little one and, trust me, once the time for breastfeeding is up, you’ll definitely miss this one-on-one moments with your baby.
  2. Cuddling and carrying your baby are forms of human contact that provide reassurance for your little one and keeps them relaxed, calm, and genuinely feeling secure.
  3. Reading books, singing, or you talking to your little one is probably one of their favorite activities! Remember that babies love the sound of their mother’s voice and consistently listening to it helps them build trust.

More than focusing on whether or not your baby should have their own room, if they have enough toys or would enjoy a Disneyland trip, the best thing you can do for your baby is be with them, sharing your time, love, and support. Science has now proven that the best things in life are free, and it takes the form of love towards your little one.

If you find you’re out of ideas and can’t switch up these three basic activities enough, remember you always have a playtime guide with Kinedu!

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