These days, my predominant state of mind is sheer exhaustion, punctuated by moments of pure joy. I bet all you parents can relate to this feeling. I am the very fortunate mom of a four-month-old girl and a three-year-old boy. Days and nights are a blur of feedings, diaper changes, trying to get the baby to sleep, and oh, yeah, also keeping a very energetic three-year-old entertained. Sometimes I’m so focused on getting through the daily routines that I forget about the big picture.
Here’s the big picture: While I’m preoccupied with trying to keep everybody fed, clean, and well rested, something super important is happening. My daughter’s brain is developing. Really, really fast. My son’s brain is still developing pretty rapidly, too. And their experiences in the first few years of life play a big role in HOW their brains develop, shaping their brain architecture in ways that will influence their social, emotional, and cognitive development for a long time to come.
Whew. That’s a lot of pressure, trying to give kids the experiences they need for healthy brain development, on top of everything else we do as parents. And, frankly, I don’t need any more pressure these days than I already have! The good news is that all those daily routines of caring for your kids are also opportunities to nurture their brain development.
Join me on Thursday, December 12th at 2:00 pm for a free expert speaker webinar, “Shaping Your Baby’s Brain: Brain Development and Stress Regulation in Early Childhood.”
Here’s what we’ll be talking about:
- Babies’ basic needs for brain development (Spoiler: The number one thing babies’ brains need is not videos designed to stimulate brain development. It’s not even classical music. What they need most of all is YOU. Those moments of joy I mentioned earlier turn out to be pretty magical for developing babies’ social brain networks. And, bonus, fun for you, too!)
- What role do sleep and nutrition play in brain development?
- How do parents help their babies to manage stress?
- Tips for nurturing your child’s developing brain.
I hope you can join us! Register or learn more.
Amanda Tarullo, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Brain and Early Experiences Lab (BEE Lab) at Boston University – Learn more about the BEE Lab.