EVERYONE Needs to Know The Difference Loving A Baby Makes!

“A baby is born with a need to be loved and never outgrows it” ~ Frank A.Clark                                           

Early Brain development is positively influenced by love! Read this amazing research!
This research study is one I want to share with EVERYONE!  It is thrilling to me every time we have additional scientific research demonstrating how important love and nurturing is to the brain….. and how important those early months after birth are!     

Those of you that know me or follow my work already know the intense passion I have for making early brain development common knowledge.  And it continues to baffle me why this is not yet information that every parent, grandparent, educator, medical professional, social worker, community leader, policy maker, business leader, and voter knows! Every adult needs to know the impact the experiences in the early years has on the developing brain.  Science has been demonstrating this to us for years.  Now economists are revealing how cost beneficial it is for us to know this—and to do something about it!

The primary focus of the awareness I want to create is the understanding of the dramatic and imperative difference loving a baby makes on the physical development of the brain.  This research clearly shows the powerful influence that results from positive early care giving experiences.

Good Parenting Triumphs Over Prenatal Stress

The new study represents the first, direct human evidence that fetuses exposed to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol may have trouble paying attention or solving problems later on. But what may be more intriguing is the study’s second finding – that this negative link disappears almost entirely if the mother forges a secure connection with her baby.
Early interactions set up the basis for expectations, self perception, self regulation, and relationships throughout life.  Babies need loving interaction, attuned parents, and touch as much they need nutrition. In the braininsights® February newsletter I included a clip on Harry Harlow’s famous study demonstrating this need.

We can no longer let this information be ignored. This latest research ignites my desires to share all of this even more deeply (if that is possible!). My dream is to have the parent of every newborn learn how to easily provide the consistent care taking and loving interaction their baby NEEDS! 

If I could I would donate a Love Your Baby brain development packet to every parent of every newborn!  Since I cannot afford to do that at this time, below are a few interaction tips from the Love Your Baby packet with brain development information from the baby’s perspective:

Realize that loving me does NOT spoil me. Show the love you feel for me through all of the interactions we have together.
Brain Insight
Taking care of my needs does not “spoil” me. Comforting me when I need you helps me learn to trust that you will take care of my needs. I will be calmer as my brain learns I can expect you to take care of me.

Notice how important your attention is to me. Tune into how I let you know when I need comforting or just a fun connection with you.
Brain Insight
Attention and contact with you is what matters most in this stage of brain development. The first 18 months are the most important for the foundation of my emotional development.

Notice what I like and respond to. Try to tune in to the level of activity I seem to need. If I seem active, do a more playful activity. When I want to be calm, read a story, hold me close, or sing a lullaby to me.
Brain Insight
My brain is not developed enough to adjust to different activity levels easily on my own. I really need you to match your behavior to my needs.

This is what babies want ALL adults to know. Do what you can to help create this awareness. … because we all benefit from all children with well developed brains!

Hopefully you see why I am so excited to share this research. It gives proof of the significant difference we can all make!

Love Your Baby! Interaction ideas for  healthy brain development during Baby's 1st year
Love Your Baby is now available also as an App!!         

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Read Across America

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
                                   ~ Emilie Buchwald
For the past 13 years the National Education Association (NEA) celebrates and honors Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd with Read Across America.  The goal of this day is to have every child in the U.S. reading in the company of a caring adult.

This is such a great goal.  Reading has so many benefits for a developing brain.   When a child is read to cells in the brain are triggered within seconds.  Some existing connections in the brain are strengthened while new connections are formed.  This helps create a more defined and complex wiring of the brain that will benefit a child for the rest of their life.  Reading to a child is so important that the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that Pediatricians prescribe reading activities to parents during their well child visits. Children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school and the National Commission on Reading found that reading aloud to a child is the single most important intervention for developing literacy skills.

Literacy skills development isn’t the only brain benefit that results from reading to a child.  Even reading to an infant is extremely valuable.  When reading a book, the child has the opportunity for visual stimulation, and hearing words.  A child needs to experience direct language.  Television and DVD’s do not provide the interactive language the brain needs.  The time spent cuddling while reading is also very important.  This closeness helps the brain make valuable connections contributing to healthy emotional development.  Young babies find the sound of the voice reassuring and calming.

Books also provide a way for children to gain new perspectives and learn about people, places and things outside of their immediate environment.  Reading with children also presents the possibility for children to open up about feelings or things that are bothering them in a comfortable way.

Unfortunately only 53% to 58% of children ages 3 to 5 are read to daily.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if 100% of children were read to daily?  “Read Across America” is a great effort toward this goal.  Starting this weekend there are reading events across the country. I invite you to share this information with everyone. Post it on your social networking sites and tell educators or people that have young children.
  • Oh The Places You Will Go Reading- On Saturday February 27, 2010, Target is sponsoring a free reading of Oh The Places You Will Go, along with Dr. Seuss inspired games, activities and giveaways.  To find more information or to find a location near you visit click here.
  • Cat-a-Van – NEA is sponsoring a van touring the country to bring special events to cities across the US.  For more information visit nea.org/readacross.
In addition to attending or sharing any of these events you can still participate in Read Across America on March 2 and then everyday at home!  Below are ideas for activities you can do while reading with your child:

            Brain Insights For Read Across America

            Reading Rockets Tips for Parents of Preschoolers

            Dr. Seuss Activities

If you know of other events or reading activities please share your comments below or email me. It will be wonderful to hear the ideas you have to share. So snuggle up with a favorite book or a fun new one and enjoy. I have a new one I cannot wait to get to myself. Happy Reading!

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February Newsletter: Love-What Does the Brain Have To Do With It?

Check out the February issue of the braininsights newsletter here.  This month's issue focuses on the importance of love and the brain.

Also included is a coupon code for 50% off Love Your Baby Activity Packets.

View past newsletters or sign up to have the free newsletter delivered to your inbox here.

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Brain Development and Reducing Obesity Through Routines!

Routines, sleep, nutrition, and limited (or no) television viewing are necessary for healthy brain development. Because of the positive impact on the brain, each of these essential needs are emphasized in braininsights® packets for every age 0 -5.

The developing brain needs:

• nutrition for energy and to function optimally. Feeding the brain well contributes to children who can attend longer and have calmer behavior.

• sleep to help keep the brain’s chemical systems in balance.

• interactive play rather than television viewing to develop valuable and strong connections between the 100 billion brain cells.

• routines to reduce the effects of stress. Chaos creates stress. It is comforting to the brain to have a schedule and know what to expect next.

The results of a recent study also demonstrate the positive impact these factors have on children’s weight. This study reveals that providing enough sleep, having family meals, or limiting television viewing can have a positive effect on preventing obesity.

Can you share this information with others? Let’s help everyone know how easy to raise children with healthy bodies and minds!

ScienceDaily (Feb. 9, 2010) — A new national study suggests that preschool-aged children are likely to have a lower risk for obesity if they regularly engage in one or more of three specific household routines: eating dinner as a family, getting adequate sleep and limiting their weekday television viewing time.

In a large sample of the U.S. population, the study showed that 4-year-olds living in homes with all three routines had an almost 40 percent lower prevalence of obesity than did children living in homes that practiced none of these routines.

For healthy brain development ideas and further information go to: http://www.braininsightsonline.com

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