Brain development in children
From birth to the age of five, the baby's brain develops at an incredible rate, faster than at any other time in life.
Early brain development is very important because it has a lasting effect on the child’s ability to learn, which means that it affects the child’s success in school, as well as anything else that the child will deal with later in life. The conditions in which a child develops during the earliest years of life and the experiences a child acquires, shape their brain.
Intense brain development
When a baby is born, its brain is about as large as a quarter of an adult’s brain. Amazingly, its size almost doubles by its first birthday. More specifically, in the first year the baby’s brain grows by 175%.
The brain continues to grow at an intense pace, so by the age of three, its size is about 80% full-size, and reaches 90% by the age of five.
Vitamin for brain development
In order for the brain to develop properly and grow at the intended pace, it is necessary for the child to be fed all the necessary nutrients through their diet.
Very important substances for brain development are DHA, omega-3 fatty acids. DHA is an important building block of the gray mass of the brain. That’s why DHA, omega-3 fatty acids, are important for the development of the brain, its cognitive and mental functions, but also for learning, attention and memory, both in adulthood and later in life.
Brain development in babies
By establishing a routine after the birth of a baby that involves caring for, regular meals, sleeping and satisfying all other baby’s physiological needs, you are providing your baby with the conditions for proper brain development.
In addition to taking care of basic needs, physical touch is also needed in order for the baby’s brain to develop properly.
As studies have shown babies who are held have stronger and better developed neural connections. Thus, children deprived of physical contact have different health consequences as they grow up and later in life.
The synapse network and brain function
The brain is the command center of the human body. A newborn is born with almost the same number of neurons that it would otherwise have during life. What sets the baby’s brain apart from the brain of an adult is the connections between neurons, which are almost non-existent in newborns. These connections are called synapses and they are responsible for brain function.
These connections, i.e. the brain structures by which chemical and electrical signals are transmitted from one neuron to another, determine how the child will behave, control emotions, how they will think.
Synapses allow the child to move, think, communicate, actually perform all the life’s activities. Early years of development are crucial to the development of these connections.
At least one million new synapses are created every second during the early brain development period.
Different parts of the brain are responsible for different abilities – movement, speech, learning a foreign language, emotions … Brain development, in addition to being dependent on proper nutrition, depends on how the synapses will develop and interconnect in different complex ways. This will one day allow the child to think, draw conclusions, learn…
The role of parents
Relationships with adults who are part of a child’s life play a very important role in brain development. A relationship full of love and compassion, which provides security for the child, is crucial for healthy brain development and the child’s mental health. This relationship first develops at home, with parents, but also with grandmothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts… Later, the quality of the relationship that a child has with educators, teachers, as well as other members of the community in which they live, is significant.
Allow your child to learn from you. The seemingly mundane and ordinary activities, such as vacuuming the floor or wiping the dust, which the child repeats by imitating what you do, are in fact a valuable experience that allows for proper brain development.