The Best Start Resource Centre has developed 15 Parent Tips to complement its www.HealthyBabyHealthyBrain.ca website. These tips provide parents and future parents some practical suggestions to support their baby’s brain development. The tips are available in French and English
I will be publishing one part of the series of tips each week here:
Did you know that your baby needs loving care to develop a healthy brain? (click for tip sheet)
How can I be a caring and nurturing parent?
- Always keep your baby warm, dry, comfortable, and safe.
- Ensure your baby’s health through breastfeeding and good medical care.
- Listen to and watch your baby. It is easy to over or under‑stimulate a baby. If your baby turns her or his head away or fusses or cries, she or he wants to stop an activity.
- When your baby accomplishes something new, give encouragement (clap, hug your baby, make happy noises, etc.).
- Be engaged with your baby and always respond gently and soothingly.
- Celebrate your baby’s unique personality.
Emotional attachment is one of the key factors in raising a happy and confident child. A healthy emotional attachment is when you and your baby become bonded into a close and connected relationship. When your baby is attached to you in this healthy way, she or he feels safe, secure, and protected on physical, emotional, and mental levels. Attachment between you and your baby occurs gradually over time, through day‑to‑day actions and routines.
How can I build a healthy emotional attachment with my baby?
- Listen and try to understand her cues about what she needs and wants.
- Respond to her or him in a loving way.
- Respond to her as quickly as you can.
- Be consistent.
When should I be concerned about my baby’s development?
If your baby:
- has an unusually stiff or floppy body
- is not watching faces by two to three months
- is unusually quiet
- has unusual difficulties with feeding
- does not startle to loud noises
- holds hands in tight fists
- does not follow activities with his or her eyes
- does not seem to recognize his or her mother
- does not vocalize
- does not seek sounds with his or her eyes
- is persistently unable to settle
Originally compiled on The Best Chance