The formative years in your child’s development – beginning with pregnancy and extending through the first three years of life – will have a profound effect on your child for the rest of his or her life. During this stage of development, children have a unique ability to absorb knowledge quickly and effortlessly.
But, babies need motivation to flex their intellect. As a parent, that’s where you come in. New abilities are determined by stimulation and opportunity. For example, the sensory pathways grow when appropriate visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation is given with the proper frequency, intensity, and duration. That’s because every newborn has about 100 billion brain cells. The networks these cells form create the pathways for thinking and learning. This neural circuitry provides the foundation for the long-term brain development of a child. Without a strong foundation, higher-level brain circuitry that develops once a child starts school cannot be supported and thus cannot function optimally.
In infancy, the brain is growing at a phenomenal rate: 25% of its adult weight at birth, 50% by age one, 75% by age two and 90% by the time they turn three. By then, their brain has formed more than one-thousand trillion connections, according to experts. Every connection, whether it’s learning to walk, talk, read, sing, or even play, forms new connections. These young minds are hungry for input and the more you provide, the more connections are made, not only in their brain and with their body, but with the relatively new world that surrounds them.