Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Raise the smartest baby!

Of course that it’s true that your baby is the best baby, but you wonder if that’s just because he’s yours. Doesn’t it seem that when we grew up, we weren’t as bright? We were smart, yes, but in our day we didn’t have as many things to stimulate our brains. Today’s studies are focused on figuring out which stages need what in order to make your baby’s brain grow strong. Here are some pointers as far as things that you can do to help your baby reach his full potential:

Before he’s even here
During the entire pregnancy your baby’s brain is growing. There are things you can do within your reach to boost that growth. Some are obvious behaviors such as keeping yourself away from smoking (and every kind of toxic chemicals for that matter) and drinking alcohol.
Certain foods will help the development of his brain:
·         Protein: don’t freak out if you’re a vegetarian! You can create your baby’s brain cells by eating peanut butter on toast or by making yourself an awesome yogurt smoothie. That requires no effort at all!
·         Iron: this helps the oxygen supply to your baby’s brain. You can find it in spinach, beans and also in lean chicken. Ask your doctor and he might even recommend an iron supplement.
·         Omega 3: Fish, fish or flaxseed oils, eggs will make that brain go wild! You can find out if your food has omega 3 from the label. Studies showed that a rich diet in omega 3 during pregnancy helped babies get the highest scores in mental development tests.
·         Antioxidants: such as those found in beans (you’re already eating those because of the protein!), tomatoes, papaya, artichokes, blueberries. They call it a “craving”, we call it baby-brain-food!

So, your baby is finally here but he’s still pretty fragile and you have to keep stimulating that brain’s growth. Did you know that as a newborn his brain is only 25% the size of an adult’s brain? For the next two years that number will escalate to 75%.
Exposing your baby to a variety of activities will help, be careful not to overwhelm him though.
·         Soothing music. Breastfeeding.
·         Speaking very closely to his face so he can see you properly.
·         Mobile.
·         Flashcards with bright colors.
·         Reading to your baby.
·         Stimulating his motor skills by placing him on his stomach for a few minutes.

Going from newborn to baby
As your baby keeps growing, keep doing those things and maybe vary it a little.
·         Expose him to various kinds of music, just keep the volume low!
·         Get him stacking blocks.
·         Take him to the park, expose him to different colors, textures, movement.
·         One-on-one time will go a long way in his brain’s growth and stimulation and it costs no money! Cuddle your baby, keep him close and it’ll make the difference.

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