Brain Development : What is it and How Does It Affect Your Baby?

Eating while pregnant Parenting

Babies in the stomach are said to be able to understand the situation outside the womb as organs such as the brain and ears are formed. Also, because the baby connects with the mother through the placenta, he/she seems to feel the mom’s feelings directly.

This article, however, will focus more on the importance of nutritional intelligence, and how it can be developed in the womb.

Do you have enough knowledge about nutrition?

What you eat is very important to you and your baby because your baby can grow from food you eat. Therefore, if you eat only junk food, there’s not enough nutrition for your baby. You have to have right knowledge for pregnancy.

Importance of Nutritional Intelligence for your Baby


Do you know that what you eat during pregnancy not only affects your unborn baby in your womb, but also affects his/her food choices in adulthood? That’s why it is important to consider what you feed your baby in utero, or in the womb.

Dr. Michael Georgieff, a professor of pediatrics and child psychology at the University of Minnesota Medical School explained the need for mothers to do their best in fueling your baby’s brain and body with healthy food. Why?

Because babies’ brains and taste buds have already developed by 13 to 15 weeks of pregnancy. Although babies get most of their nutrition via the umbilical cord, 20% of what they ingest is via the amniotic fluid. They can actually taste the flavors of the food that their mothers eat. This early introduction to food can have huge impact on their tolerance for healthy (or unhealthy) food, their tastes, and preferences as adults.

You’re the only one who can change the impact on your baby’s health.

When Should You Start?

The baby’s ear function is said to develop around 5-7 months. Those days when morning sickness has calmed down, it is often considered to be a suitable time to begin prenatal activities, as you enter a stable period and spend your time with a calm disposition.

Although there may be opinions that it is better to start earlier because the brain has developed since about 3 months. However, there are no rules in pregnancy, so it is recommended that you start at a reasonable time while taking into consideration your physical condition.

Useful Ways to Teach Nutritional Intelligence to your Child


We gathered some useful tips and steps from the book, “Feeding Baby Green” by Alan Greene that will assist you in establishing a strong foundation for creating a healthy and delicious future for your little one:

Read aloud from a picture book

Read a picture book that you would like to read to your baby when he/she is born. It would be nice to describe the illustration. Mama’s voice echoes better within the body than outside, so it reaches the baby easily.

Use windows of opportunity

From birth through about the end of the second year, provide special opportunities for you to make a deeper impact on your child’s future choices. Learn to advance your child’s food development by applying unique strategies in order to develop his/her tolerance for healthy food.

Engage all the senses

Help your child and teach her to love great food by using her senses to make a deep sense of familiarity and joy about these healthy foods, and help to forge the comfort foods of her future. Talk with your child about food by introducing many flavors, aromas, and textures, and even appearance, making it a fun-filled activity and at the same time, a bonding time with your baby.

Kick Game

When you begin to feel fetal movement, lightly hit or tap the area where the baby kicked lightly from above your stomach. If you talk and repeat words like “kick,” or “ping,” communication will be deepened between you and your baby.

Choose the right amount

Learn how to tell how much and what to feed your child at every age, and familiarize yourself with the amount that is just right for him/her.

Choose the right variety

A balanced diet is composed of a wide variety of colors and types of foods that meet all your child’s nutritional needs. Select foods that provide abundant nutrition, while creating a framework for nurturing an adventurous eater.

Dad’s voice calling

Talk to your baby about daddy. There is also a theory that baby will be reminded of Daddy and his voice after being born.

Apart from these simple communication activities, repeat greetings such as “good morning” and “good night” to your baby. Do light exercise such as maternity yoga, talk about the scenery on your strolls, and tell your baby about the fun things that you would like for him or her to experience.

Exercise!

Exercise works in tandem with vital nutrition and is the best start that you can give to your baby.

Reap the benefits of green

Eat foods that are in season and try purchasing from your local and organic food suppliers. Be conscious about where your food comes from and how it is prepared.

How Music Helps Baby Brain Development

Do you know that research studies have shown that there is better intelligence for babies who are exposed to music? Classical music is specifically thought to be a great source of stimulation for babies. Some studies proved that infants exposed to classical music develop into smarter children than those who do not hear the classics early on in life.

The Significance of Incorporating Music For Your Baby’s Intelligence and Growth

While your baby is inside the mother’s womb, he is mainly exposed to low frequencies such as the vibrational emanations of his mother such as her bodily rhythms, acute emotions, fluctuating moods, cravings, and many more. Interestingly, mothers intuitively communicate with their babies through music like through lullabies. 

Music has been effectively used in neonatal intensive care units, especially with high-risk infants. Some studies have shown that playing music to low-birth weight newborns may reduce weight loss and stress-related behaviors, can positively affect oxygen saturation levels, heart rate, and respiratory rate, and may reduce the length of hospital stays.

Music therapy can also benefit infants of depressed mothers by altering the mother’s mood and reducing high arousal levels in their infants. Singing to infants can also play a role in restoring attachment between infants and family members when bonding has been disrupted by lack of early physical contact with newborns restricted to isolettes. 

Based on the book “The Psychology of Music in Multimedia”, perceptually salient audio features such as sound effects and vocalizations initially draw attention and influence learning because they elicit primitive orienting responses that later shift to purposeful attention and learning. Some researchers found out that babies in the music group had stronger brain responses to the disruptions in both music and speech rhythm compared to babies in the other group.

Ways and Techniques For Safe and Convenient Listening For Babies

In this section, we provide you some useful ways and techniques to help your baby listen safely and conveniently as he becomes smarter through music:

In Utero:

  1. While pregnant, you can play soothing music on your headphones and place them on your belly. Don’t play music too loud just to ensure that your unborn baby can hear. Make sure that the music is played at low volume as your placenta can carry the rhythm and beats to your baby.
  2. When you are listening to music on your player, make sure that the volume is not higher than 65 decibels. If you are planning to listen to music for longer hours, keep the volume at or below 50 decibels.
  3. Don’t overdo playing music to your unborn baby. Spaced out your music playing in smaller bits and parts. This assures that your unborn baby relaxes for some time instead of constantly reacting to the rhythms and beats. If you keep on playing music to your unborn baby for longer periods of time, this may disrupt his natural sleep pattern.
  4. You can just play background music in a loudspeaker at normal volume levels.
  5. It’s alright to listen in various genres of music while pregnant. But be careful as your baby breathes in your womb will also change according to the sounds and the beats he hears. If you are listening to rock, heavy metal, and loud music, it can have a detrimental effect of stress to your unborn baby.

After Birth:

  1. Play happy and energetic music while taking care of and playing with your baby. Studies have shown that babies who move rhythmically to music, smile more, are easier to soothe, and are more willing to explore their environment than babies who simply listen.
  2. Try singing or humming a song like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”  to your baby, or patting his back or rocking to music. This can help strengthen the musical pathways in his brain.
  3. Use some small musical instrument toys for babies such as xylophones, and maracas to encourage your baby to be engaged in music. This will boost his levels of creativity and intelligence.

What matters prenatally is mama is relaxed

There are many mothers who consider early brain education, but the most important thing is to make sure that mama is relaxed and happy which transmits blood flow and hormonal balance to the baby in the womb.

Especially during pregnancy, the ups and downs of the mood tend to be intense due to the disorder of hormonal balance and change of physical condition. So let’s realize and understand to let mothers spend time on prenatal care. It is smart to take the mother’s physical condition and disposition into account for the sake of the baby.

Pregnancy is a period when the functions of human beings are triggered to prepare for birth.

Although it has been said that there is no scientific basis, it is not surprising for mothers to want to do things for a baby who is still in the tummy, or stimulate the baby’s senses through communication by instinct.

Summary

Some have talked about prenatal communication activities as having beneficial effects such as developing a child rich with emotion and understanding. Music can be an important and fun experience that may positively influence their brain development, helping these little ones absorb information and learn at an amazing speed as they grow. Most importantly, it is the mother’s love through prenatal care, that develops their relationship with their child, which will have a positive effect on child-rearing after childbirth.

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