Doing all these can help to stimulate your child’s brain.
When we were younger, we always joke about how our parents are the stereotypical Asian parents that always like to compare us to other children.
Especially with academics (straight As or family disappointment, anyone?)
Now that we are parents ourselves, we cannot help but want only the best for our children whilst trying to make them grow into the very best version of themselves that they can be.
So everyday we worry about what we can do to aid our child to further improve their chances of success in the future.
Will we fall into the same Asian parent cycle? No!
Take away that tiger parenting method – that’s old school.
Let us show you some things that you can do to make sure that your child still gets that nice head start in life while still allowing them to enjoy their childhood to the fullest.
Here are some ways that can help your child develop their brain and motors skills that will benefit them in the long run.
The first 3 years of your child’s life is the most crucial moment for development.
This is the moment where your child’s brain is absorbing everything like a sponge. As it grows, the different parts of the brain mature and develop. Connecting all the information that it had gathered.
During these early three years, Pediatricians said the best way to help with your child’s development is to start stimulating their brain!
So how do we stimulate the brain?
The brain is stimulated through the senses. So, in order to activate and kick start your child’s brain, you got to nourish your child’s senses.
We are all born with five major senses, and each of this senses triggers a different part of the brain. The five senses include:
1. Sense of sight
2. Sense of touch
3. Sense of smell
4. Sense of taste
5. Sense of hearing
The senses are there so human could perceives its environment and make decision with the information it received. All the data gathered by the senses are sent to the brain for record and process.
Getting the gears turning early by exposing your child to various stimulations can help optimize your child’s brain development. A professor in neuropsychology explains that the baby’s brain adapts itself following their environment. If the brain is not stimulated, it may lose some of its synapses.
Note: Synapses are spaces between the cells where information transfer or cell communication takes place. A single cell can have thousands of synapses. The more synapses a brain cell has, the faster information is processed thus increasing the brains learning abilities.
Let’s see what you can do to enrich your child’s senses.
1. I Spy A Whole New World
For your child’s sense of sight, the best way to stimulate it is to let them see, watch, and observe.
You can begin to encourage vision development starting from the first day you brought your child home from the hospital. By that time, your child’s vision has already start to improve but they still see the world in a blur.
Your newborn’s vision will develop over time following their brain’s development. Usually by the end of the fourth month, your child can already start seeing far objects.
During the first four months, you can help your child’s vision with decorations!
If you’ve ever wondered if a child’s room being brightly-colored has any significance, well there’s your answer. Bright colours and bold shapes helps to stimulate your child’s sight.
During this time when their vision is not yet perfect, the distinct shapes and colours makes them more distinguishable.
Changing your child’s position during breastfeeding can help change the perspectives and angles of which your child see. Since your baby can only see up to 12 inches in the first month, you can also put your face close to theirs as you talk to them. You would be able to bond while at the same time stimulate your child’s senses.
After 4 months, you can start playing peek-a-boo with your child, or pat-a-cake to improve hand-eye coordination. By 1 years old, your child would be able to everything clearly now.
A tip from doctor is to always make eye contact when engaging your baby. Eye contact can help keep your child’s attention.
2. Comforting Smells
Do you know why some children have a favourite blanket or pillow that they always look for when they want to sleep?
Well, that’s because familiar smells bring comfort to your child. You can use this knowledge to comfort your child next time he or she cries. Familiar smells can also help your child relieve their stress.
Smells and scents also aids with memory.
3. Touch and Feel
Stimulating the touch senses can help develop a sense of confidence and strength. Giving your child a lot of care and attention through positive contact like hugs or pats on the head can help to stimulate your child’s cognitive development.
Pediatricians agreed that children that receives more contact bonding from the parent are more sociable and resilient.
Other than that, you can expose your child to different textures for their toys to stimulate your child’s brain. Some toddler books have textures within the pages of the book that you can use. As a result, you get to kill two birds with one stone!
4. Hear Hear Now
Your newborn child probably already recognized your voice from the womb. Yes! Your child can hear you from inside. Research shows that brain activity can be observe when the baby hears the voice of the mother. Additionally, it also shows that hearing mom’s voice stimulates the communication processing part of the brain which can allow your child to have a better grasp of language later.
Pediatricians recommend for mommies and daddies to engage their child by talking to them, reading, or singing to them. Reading to your child alone has its own set of benefits.
Reading to your toddler can help them to pick up vocabularies, made them understands phonics, and recognizing letters easier later. You can even start reading to your baby much much earlier even though your child does not understand.
Tips on Reading:
- Try to read on schedule. Having a reading session with your child at the same time everyday can help give your child a sense of regularity.
- Let your child choose the book! Allow them to run their fingers through the pages of the book. Even when your child chose the same book again and again, it’s alright!
- Don’t be a afraid to look like a fool! Go wild with your storytelling. Capture your child’s attention with different voices for each character.
5. What Does This Taste Like?
Allowing your little one to explore its environment is a definite must! If you are busy, make a safe space for your child to crawl about that does not make you worry every second of it.
When your child explores, it may want to put almost everything in its mouth just out of curiosity. Make sure to regularly wash and sterilized any toy or loose fabrics.
If your child is already starting to eat solid foods, try to play around with different food textures. Mashed foods all the time may not be stimulating enough over time.
With all the effort you put into here and now, do remind yourself that your child is an individual and every individual grows, mature, and develop at their own pace.
Always be patient. Guide them. Encourage them.