Early Brain Development


Did you know?

  • Your emotional health impacts your baby’s brain development.
  • The most critical period is from the third trimester to two years old.
  • If you are feeling anxious or depressed, it is important to seek help.

The first six years of life are the most important for healthy brain development. As children grow and experience new things, connections are made between brain cells. As a parent or caregiver you can have a positive influence on the brain development of your baby. Learn how both you and your baby will benefit.

How to support healthy brain development:

  • Give your baby a variety experiences that involve their senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch)
    • Talk to your baby often
    • CuddleYoung child playing with a toy train as her mother watches her
    • Smile
    • Provide a variety of new sights, smells and tastes
  • Note: The more these experiences are repeated, the stronger the connections become.

Childhood abuse and neglect can slow brain development

Just as positive early experiences help your baby’s brain grow and develop, negative experiences can lead to serious emotional, behavioural, and learning problems.

Remember:

Anyone who cares for your baby or young child - family members, friends, child care providers - will have an influence on your child’s life.


The first six years of life are the most important for healthy brain development

Brain development begins at conception and continues into young adulthood. However, most of your child’s brain development will occur during the early years.

Brain development begins during pregnancy

Your health before, during and after pregnancy is very important for your baby’s development. Healthy nutrition, avoiding alcohol and other drugs and having regular prenatal and postnatal check ups are some of the things you can do to keep yourself healthy and give your child the best start in life.

Babies are born with over 100 billion brain cells

As your baby grows and experiences new things, connections are made between these brain cells. Brain cells help control basic functions like breathing as well as more difficult skills such as solving a puzzle or learning the alphabet. By about age three, most of these brain cell connections have been made.

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