I received product and compensation from Mead Johnson Nutrition to create this post written by me. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Mead Johnson Nutrition. You can contact Mead Johnson Nutrition with product related questions or comments toll free at 1-800-BABY-123 (1-800-222-9123).
It’s always been fascinating to me how a baby born so small and helpless can grow and learn to connect with others and understand and learn to speak a language. While many babies reach milestones during certain ages, there are many things you can do as a parent to help facilitate learning and start building your baby’s brain early to set them up for success and learning. Today I’m sharing a few things I do with my baby girl (and have done with my four other children) to help them bond, make connections, and learn all about the new world they are discovering each day.
Visit Enfamil online to learn more about NeuroPro™ and request a free sample.
Building baby’s brain isn’t something big and doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time, rather it’s made up of small everyday actions that add up to big learning!
10 Brain Building Activities to Do With Your Baby
#1 Talk it Out
Baby is learning all about language on a daily basis. A great way to encourage this learning is to talk to your baby throughout the day. Baby won’t understand most of what you’re saying, and that’s perfectly fine!
She is still learning other things, like how language works as a back and forth conversation. When baby gurgles and squeals, let her finish, then make sounds right back. This teaches her how conversation works, and shows her that she is being listened to and has a voice. Baby is also learning to understand that words have meaning, and will start picking up on important words like their name, mama, dada, sibling names, bottle, dog, etc. The more a baby hears the name of these things when seeing them, the more they start to associate the word with the person or object.
For example, my sweet baby girl recognizes her name and turns her head to look when her name is called. She is also ready with a giant gummy smile and an excited kick of her legs when she hears that word “dada” because she knows she’s about to have some fun!
#2 All Smiles
While smiling comes natural for most of us when we’re around a cute cooing baby, did you know that it is also an important part of baby’s development?
Smiling is a great way to bond us with our child. It helps them feel loved and safe, which is important to foster early in life.
Seeing my daughter’s big smile when she wakes up every morning is one of the happiest moments of my day! Seeing her little face light up when she sees me makes me want to be the best mom possible for her.
#3 Read a Book
As a former elementary school teacher, you know I wasn’t going to leave reading off of this list. 😉
Babies are sponges, absorbing and taking in every detail they can in their environment. When we read to babies, it’s now necessarily about understanding the story. Rather, it’s about bonding, interacting, being exposed to language, and hearing the intonations in language. As baby gets older they will start to pick up on certain words, and will love being read the same books again and again.
Don’t just read the words as if you were reading to yourself. Use different voices, lots of expression, and point to different things in the pictures while saying what they are or the sounds that they make. Baby will have more fun listening, and will be learning at the same time.
#4 Fun and Games
Games like peek-a-boo and patty cake are not only fun, but they also help to develop baby’s brain too!
When playing peek-a-boo, baby is learning that there is a pattern to your actions, is anticipating what’s going to happen next, and is making predictions based on their observations.
These games are not only educational but are a wonderful way to bond and have fun with your child.
Toys also help to develop baby’s young mind. My daughter loves when I stack her blocks up in front of her, because she knows that all it takes is one swipe of her hand to knock them all down! This is a great way to teach cause and effect.
#5 Nourish Baby’s Brain
Enfamil NeuroPro™ formula has a brain-building fat-protein blend of MFGM and DHA previously only found in breast milk*.
MFGM has been clinically shown to help close the gap in cognitive development between formula-fed and breastfed infants.** Enfamil NeuroPro™ is the first formula that has an exclusive MFGM and DHA blend for brain building benefits similar to those of breast milk.* This makes me feel even better about my decision to formula feed my baby.
It’s also reassuring to know that Enfamil® is the #1 brand of infant formula recommended by pediatricians and has been trusted by hospitals for over 25 years.
#6 The Power of Music
Music is one of my very favorite (and one of the easiest!) ways to help my baby’s mind develop. The second my baby hears me singing at church, she twists her head quickly with a huge smile on her face to observe me singing.
Babies learn to move, feel the rhythm, learn new words, and can bond with you even more with you all through music.
#7 Feel the Love
From the moment a baby is born, they crave the touch and caress of their mother. It’s common practice for hospitals to place newborn babies right onto their mom’s chest for skin-to-skin contact, which is so important for baby and helps to soothe and calm.
A little hug, a kiss on the nose, a gentle massage, or a little foot rub are all great ways to show baby that you love her and help her feel safe and protected.
With four siblings and two doting parents, our baby girl is always getting held, kissed, hugged, and played with. I hope that she will always know how truly loved she is.
While these are all simple activities to do with your baby, if they are done regularly they will help to grow and develop your baby’s young and ever-growing mind.
*In amounts supported by clinical research. As measured by Bayley cognitive scores.
**As measured by Bayley-III cognitive score at 12 months in a different formula with MFGM added as an ingredient.
Visit Enfamil.comor call 1-800-BABY-123 (1-800-222-9123) for more information and to request a free sample.
This is sponsored by Enfamil® Infant Formula.