How the environment influences baby’s cognition?
In today’s post, I want to talk about the role of a nurturing environment on a child’s cognitive development. And share some easy ways to create a positive environment for your child. When I am saying environment, it includes both physical as well as the emotional environment.
We know how crucial are the initial years of a child’s life for their growth and development. A child’s brain develops rapidly during the first three years. It is the time of rapid physical, emotional and cognitive development.
If you have been following my posts on #FeedIQ, an initiative by Abbott, by now you know how nutrition plays a crucial role in a baby’s optimal development. As per a research from Abbott, 3 key nutrients i.e. DHA, lutein and natural vitamin E are essential to support brain development and encourage early learning skills in infants. Mothers can take care of their nutritional needs by including a good supplement like SimMom IQ+ in their diet.
But nutrition is not the only factor which influences a baby’s cognitive development. A positive, stimulatory, as well as a nurturing environment, plays an equally important role. In one of my previous posts, I have shared some of the age-specific stimulation activities for babies.
A study by neuroscientist Audrey van der Meer shows that neurons in the brains of young children increase in both number & specialization when they are exposed to a positive and challenging environment.
But do we parents really care about the environment our babies are exposed to?
Do we really focus on providing a positive & stress-free home environment for our babies?
Brain imaging research suggests that growing up in a stressful environment causes the brain to develop differently. Even pregnancy stress and postpartum depression are found to have negative effects on a baby’s cognitive development.
It is the responsibility of parents & caretakers to consciously create a warm, caring, loving & sensory-rich environment around the babies.
Let’s see some of the best ways to create a nurturing environment around babies to have a positive impact on their cognitive development.
1- Cut out the stress and be a happy parent
We all want to raise happy babies but are you a happy parent?
It doesn’t take much to drop out the stress from our lives and focus on being happy beings. Children absorb all the sights, sounds, smells, textures and emotions around them. They can sense even the slightest tension in the environment.
Babies communicate their needs & emotions through their behavior. And if you want to understand their behavior, you should look at their environment.
I have shared a post on Instagram on how to be a happy parent. Check it out –
View this post on Instagram
👉 Smile more…Laugh often! . 👉 Eat at least 2 meals together as a family. . 👉 Don’t complicate things, keep your life as simple as possible. . 👉 Do some crazy stuff together. . 👉 Don’t shy away from showing love n care to your partner. Say ‘I love you’ more often. .👉 Keep an unlimited stock of kisses n hugs & use them for no particular reason. .👉 Never take your fight to a level that it becomes abusive. . 👉 Show your child that 2 individuals who love each other can also have a difference in opinion & things can be sorted out by talking without getting highly aggressive. . 👉 Take care of yourself, do something for yourself without feeling guilty. . 👉 Remember memories matter more than money. . 👉 Throw out negative thoughts & people out of your mind and your life
2- Create a positive nurturing environment at home
One of the best ways to create a positive nurturing environment for babies is by providing them with unconditional love and care. Even the simplest acts of cleaning & changing your baby, breastfeeding her, rocking her to sleep, soothing her, makes the environment nurturing.
Also, be available for your child when you are present around them. Listen to their cues in understanding their behavior. Don’t neglect their cries because that is their way of communicating their needs. Allow your baby to spend time with each member of the family. And also encourage other people in the house to have a positive interaction with the baby. Try to adopt shared parenting as well as positive parenting approach.
3- Indoor/Outdoor Stimulatory activities
One of the best ways to help your baby achieve cognitive milestones is through stimulation. Play-based learning is the most fundamental in a child’s physical as well as intellectual development. It builds a range of skills that enable young minds to take risks, solve problems, imagine possibilities, negotiate, and much more.
Babies as young as a few days old are learning about their environment through their senses. Some of the fun indoor stimulation activities for babies are reading, giving a massage, playing peek-a-boo, talking, singing and responding to their coo’s.
Just like indoor activities, spending time outdoors is a great way for a baby’s physical and mental development. You can take your baby for a stroll, talk to her about the surroundings, show her the things around & let her explore the sights and sounds. Spending time outdoors also helps in a baby’s emotional as well as social development.
So, dear parents, these are some of the ways in which you can create a happy, healthy & nurturing environment around your babies to have a positive impact on their cognitive development.
Hope you find this post helpful and worth sharing. Do share your thoughts in the below comments section.