As a parent, we get more apprehensive about the growth and development of the baby. The development includes both physical and mental.
As per records, today mental health illness is shooting up, this directly or indirectly related to the environment that we live in, the food that we consume, and obviously the lifestyle we live in.
The brain is the most complicated thing on earth.
The human brain is considered to be a very important part of the nervous system. The brain receives signals from the outside world and it sends messages to the rest of our body so that they can respond adequately. Hence, it is extremely crucial to shape and nurture a brain from a very young age.
Surprisingly, brain development in kids starts right during the pregnancy phase. This means baby brain development starts in the womb and hence it becomes the job of the parent to how to enrich it.
Baby’s Brain development during Pregnancy
The initial 1000 days from conception to 2 years are extremely fundamental for the development of the child. The child’s health being and well-being becomes the area of concern for the Mother.
The baby’s brain begins to develop in the 1st Trimester of pregnancy, even though the size of the fetus is just seed-like. During the 1st 3 months, the nerve cell and nerve tissues are formed.
In the 2nd Trimester the nerve function and sensory organs are developed.
And in the 3rd trimester, the ability to learn and memory-related development is seen in the fetus.
Therefore, unborn baby brain development should also be nourished equally.
Let’s now focus on what expecting mothers can do for it.
They can start to eat food which will help in the baby’s mental development. Omega 3 (DHA) and Omega 6 fatty acids are very essential for the expected mom.
Omega 3 Fatty acids are in charge of the development of the brain cells, skin, and retina. Mothers can obtain it from various sources like fish oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and walnut.
Choline also helps the process of development which mothers can get from eggs, dairy products, blueberries, nuts/dry fruits.
And Folate which is another important factor can be obtained from green vegetables, avocado, and beet.
Food that is rich in iron like cereals, and not to forget the medicines that are recommended by the doctor should be consumed regularly or as per instruction.
A pregnant lady goes through tremendous stress. It’s important to keep them stress-free, for which exercising regularly is recommended. Exercise increases the blood circulation in the mother which in turn will increase blood circulation in the fetus, which will result in better heart rate and better moments can be observed.
Daily Meditation, yoga helps in being distressed. It not only helps in destressing but also eases the process of delivery. Walking regularly helps tremendously in this process too.
Keeping yourself hydrated, as dehydration may cause lethal conditions. Being happy during this pregnancy phase is very important as it not only helps the brain but also for the overall development of the child.
It is noticed, brain development of the babies is at its optimum in the 3rd trimester i.e. from 6-9 month of pregnancy.
The fetus can listen to sound, music, etc, two people the fetus listens to most are the father and the mother. Hence they recognize their parent’s voice right from the beginning and they become most comfortable and feel secure with their parents.
Things to be avoided
Whatever the mom eats directly goes to the fetus hence it’s important for the mother to avoid drugs, alcohol, toxins, or any hazardous materials.
Avoid consuming any unprescribed medicine.
Being healthy and being Happy during Pregnancy is strongly recommended.
Post Pregnancy Brain Development
The brain development of the baby starts from day 1. The development depends on genes, everyday experience, and relationships with important people in their life.
Development of Newborn Babies Brain
The brain of a baby goes through several developmental stages from Newborn to Infant. Breastfeeding provides all necessary nutrients to the newborn which are important for the brain and strong immunity. Hence the mother’s milk is very important. For the first 6 months.
The brain in infants develops by observing and hearing surrounding. It’s very important to observe the infant-like their ability to recognize the parents, playing with the toys, grasping objects, etc, which will in turn hint the parent about normal brain development.
Parent baby bonding during this initial stage of life creates a great impact. Touch therapy like giving a massage to the baby by a parent spreads positivity in the development. Talking, playing, dancing, interacting with them also stimulates newborn brain development.
Speak to the child frequently, slowly, and softly. Let the child imitate your mouth movements. This will help them to understand sound and will learn to speak. Sing to them, play soft music, try involving surrounding sounds this will help in building the baby’s audible sensory. These are by far the most effective way to support brain development in infants.
Bright colors attract babies. Get a few of them and introduce them to these colors. Bright colors trigger babies’ brains. Bring toys and get them involved in brain development activities. Being patient with the child is extremely important as different children learn at different speeds.
You can also talk to your pediatrician who will help in giving tips for the development of the baby’s brain.
Development of Brain in kids
The first few years of brain development of a child is rapid. 97% of the energy is consumed by the brain during the development stage. 90% of the brain is developed even before the child starts going to school that is at age 2. Hence the first few years of a kid’s life are very important considering their brain development. Connections that are used regularly grow strong and become permanent. A child’s brain can make positive or negative relationships depending on the link they make.
The best way for parents to help their kids develop the brain is to nurture their relationship and attachment.
Playing with the baby, responding to the distress, picking on babies’ cues, language also plays a very important role. And more importantly, taking time to observe the baby and learn. This will affect the ability to learn their inquisitiveness. It becomes difficult to undo the effect from a child’s memory.
The first 3 years of the child’s life are very crucial. These are the peak years of brain development. The experience and the interaction the child has will lead to connections being formed between the brain cells. During the initial years, parents are the most important people in the child’s life. Whatever a child suffers or goes through in these years stays with them in childhood, middle years, and adulthood as well.
Eat healthy food, protect your skull, do physical exercise, sleep for 8 hours to recharge brain activity, read, play, solve puzzles to keep their brain active.
Food for Brain Development in kids
Similar to the body, the brain develops quickly in childhood. Hence, the right nourishment is extremely important.
Here are a few brain-boosting foods for kids:
Spinach – Spinach contains antioxidants and strengthens brain cells, which protects the brain from damage. Spinach also contains folate which helps in brain development.
Egg – Egg contains choline, the nutrient that helps boost memory.
Curd – Dairy products help in stimulating the brain, which controls emotion. It also controls anxiety and depression.
Fish – Fish is the holy grail of the brain. It contains Omega 3 fatty acids which contribute 50% of brain mass.
Turmeric – Turmeric contains curcumin which has antioxidant properties and helps in reducing any damage to the brain.
Walnut – Walnut is also rich in omega 3 fatty acid improves memory and reduces inflammation in the brain.
Oatmeal – Oatmeal regulates blood sugar in the body, which in turn boosts brain health and brain function.
After years, development becomes more mature, the brain from 3-6 years will move from magic thinking to real thinking. They understand the cause-effect. Kids can now tell their age, full name, etc. An increase in sensitivity can be now observed, also loads of attention towards self is seen. They start becoming impatient at the age of 6. Being assertive and aggressive now will get introduced in kid’s behavior.
Structuring the discipline in kids, engaging them in sports activity and outdoor games is the best time now.
After 6 the child now becomes very independent and is ready to get separated from a mother. Then the academics take it ahead.