Mother and Baby

7 simple ways to stimulate your tot’s brain

Surprise: there’s an electrical storm going on inside your baby’s head.

A newborn is born with one hundred billion nerve cells in their brain. This is roughly equivalent to the number of stars that are in the Milky Way galaxy, and this vast array of neurons is ready for action. Although you can’t see the explosive electric light parade going on in your baby’s brain, you can see it played out in everyday life through the relentless developmental changes that they achieve.

So every moment of life counts. And those everyday times – the ones when you’re sitting around your home playing with toys or simply walking down the street, those chaotic moments before you get your kids to bed, and those brief, soft, and tender twinkles when they wake in the morning – that may seem to be ordinary, really aren’t. They’re extraordinary, precious, and highly consequential moments.

All these seemingly simple things are feeding your child’s brain and stimulating their cortex. So have fun and embrace the everyday moments of life. Include them in all the mundane events that each day brings, and as they watch you go about your daily tasks, take heart knowing that you are helping your baby learn and grow in the best possible way!

Meet the expert: Dr Robert C Hamilton is a California-based paediatrician, author and a dad of six.

7 mundane things to grow your tot’s brain:

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1) This Little Piggy

When you get your baby dressed in the morning, or during a nappy change, play ‘This Little Piggy’. Count her fingers as well as her toes.
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2) Laundry Sort

Tip out the washing and use it make an obstacle course for your tot, that changes as you sort it into piles.
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3) Kiss Chase

As you sweep or Hoover, encourage your baby to follow you. Vary your speed, and let your tot catch you from time to time, and give her a kiss when she does.
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4) Number game

Count everything out loud as you go about your day together: steps on the way to the car, toes going into socks, packs of nappies loaded into your shopping trolley.
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5) Swish Swash

Add a pile of plastic cups and bowls to bathtime, and pour, shake, dip and swish together.
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6) Box Clever

All those big Amazon boxes that arrive at your home? Pop your toddler into one and push and pull her along.
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7) Opposites Attract

As you tidy up, describe all the opposite actions you do: put a big toy into the basket and then a small one, put a toy on the top shelf and then one on the bottom shelf, pick up a black block and then a white one.

Want more great advice? You’ll find tons more smart insights in Dr Robert C Hamilton’s new book 7 Secrets of The Newborn.

Will you try out these seven tips? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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