Time to Get Moving!

As parents of an infant, we may tend to find ourselves concentrating on teaching our child to speak.  We coo with them, la la la, and even do some raspberrying.  We have read up on development and very early on begin to read to them while in the crib or on our lap.  It’s important for us to use these techniques with our infant so there little brain can be stimulated and begin to develop appropriately.  While this is all very good for their brain and a great bonding experience as well, don’t forget to move.

What happens in a child’s first year of life is crucial to the development of the brain, and eventually the person that child becomes.  Research shows that the brain is forming patterns, not only patterns of sights and sounds, but also patterns of touch, perception and organization of information, and movement.  More and more brain research is coming out to show the need to stimulate physical movement and what the movement does for an infant’s brain.  Most importantly, the research is showing that facilitating this movement with your infant can have a great impact on his physical, emotional and intellectual abilities.  In other words, while the brain is developing to help your child move and coordinate muscles, the child’s movement itself has lasting and positive effects on brain development.

Stimulating movement in your child (helping them clap their hands, moving the legs to simulate walking or dance moves, etc.)… “plays an important role in the creation of nerve cell networks, which are actually the essence of learning”, states neurophysiologist Carla Hannaford.  “Those movements have been considered to be essential in neural stimulation.  Once a child is moving on her own (rolling over, pushing herself up with her arms, grasping the crib to help her move), not only is she creating good blood flow to the brain, but she is creating synapses, using her brain and developing even more pathways.”

Now days more than ever, with long work days and little time to be with our infant, find any moment possible to lie on the floor and roll around with your baby.  Sit her on your lap and help her move to some music provided by BabyFirstTV.  Remember to have your infant spend some “tummy time” with you.  Know that your baby’s movements are creating pathways in her brain for a lifetime of learning, and special moments in your heart.

Sources:

The School for Body/Mind Centering

familyresource.com

“Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head”- Carla Hannaford

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