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Playtime to promote healthy brain development

For many new parents, worrying about how to make each moment count through their interactions with their baby is somewhat normal. Quality time spent with your children is vitally important, and Erin Frank, pediatrician with Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, notes that meaningful play and interaction with babies is a great way to boost brain development. Reading books, talking and singing to them from a very early age can stimulate their brain through the different colors and words. Kyle D. Pruett, a clinical professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, says that babies' brains grow at a faster rate each day than adults' brains do in an entire year. To promote healthy baby brain development, Pruett recommends a few of these helpful playtime suggestions.

  • Physical touch: Each play session should start with a soft touch or lifting them up, while watching the baby's face for how they are reacting.
  • Eye contact: Whether you are singing or playing a game of peek-a-boo, always keep your eye contact strong with your baby to monitor their excitement. 
  • Meaningful interaction: Don't feel the need to entertain your baby simply for the sake of entertainment. Leaving them be sometimes will instill in them a sense of independence and be beneficial for their further growth.
  • Avoid screens: Many experts, like Frank, agree that children should not be exposed to television or other screens until after the age of 2. This is to avoid replacing meaningful parent playtime with technology. 

Early child care professionals looking to learn more about baby brain development are encouraged to make use of ProSolutions Training's courses. We also offer online child care training services to help you become equipped for teaching and caring for children.