Articles | Health

Understanding your baby’s brain

“So many adults can’t manage stress well. Because no one helped them with stress and distress in childhood, they never set up effective stress-regulating systems in their brains”
Particular ways of responding to your child will establish pathways in his brain to enable him to manage emotions well, think rationally under pressure and calm himself down.

LOSS OF BRAIN CELLS:
The brain’s natural sculpting process continues throughout life

  • At birth we have 200 billion brain cells
  • At age one we have lost 80 billion brain cells
  • By the teens we have lost 90 billion brain cells
  • By age 35 we have lost 100 billion brain cells
  • By age 70 we have lost 105 billion brain cells

Everything that your child experiences with you will forge connections between the cells of his brain. So, the way you listen to him, play with him, cuddle and comfort him and treat him when he is being naughty, is of real significance.

Rage, fear and separation distress systems are set up at birth to support a baby’s survival. He needs your help to calm down. When a child is not given enough help with his intense lower brain feelings and primitive impulses, his brain may not develop the pathways to enable him to effectively manage stressful situations.

Certain chemicals are produced when a child is lovingly touched or held by a parent and these produce a sense of well-being. Warm attentive parents will repeatedly activate the release of these hormones, creating a secure bond with their child.

METHODS OF SOOTHING YOUR BABY

  • Skin to skin contact
  • Touch and massage
  • Sucking
  • Warmth
  • Movement and rocking
  • Familiar soothing sounds
  • Avoid overstimulation (Heavy perfumes, tobacco smells, bright colours, over handling etc)

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