Your baby’s brain starts to form when your baby is conceived.
Stay active. Eat well right from the start to help create a healthy brain. Important nutrients during pregnancy are folate, iron, vitamin C, calcium and omega-3 fats.
Avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco smoke. These can harm your baby’s developing brain and may cause permanent damage.
It’s best to make changes when you are thinking about becoming pregnant. Give your baby’s brain the best possible start.
All full term babies are born with basic brain functions. They can breathe, sleep, eat, etc. To develop more complex skills, the brain needs to be stimulated often, in a repetitive, predictable, back-and-forth way. This fires up new connections in the baby’s brain.
Parents need to provide lots of warmth and attention to set up these early brain connections. Respond to your baby. Talk to your baby. Sing to your baby. Touch your baby. Play with your baby. With every interaction, you are helping your baby’s brain to develop.
There are times when your baby’s brain is ready to develop certain skills. Brain connections for seeing and hearing develop early. So it is important to talk, sing and read to your newborn.
There is a window of opportunity for learning to talk between one and two years of age. Start putting the building blocks for language in place even earlier. Talk often to your baby. This will help your baby learn to talk.
If you suspect a delay in your baby, such as difficulty hearing or seeing, talk to your healthcare provider right away. It is important to get help early if it is needed. This will make learning easier later. Make sure your child sees a health care provider at 18 months of age.
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