Use It or Lose It!!

By: Therese Brion

If there is one important part of your baby’s development that you need to be most informed with, it should be their brain development. The brain: one of the most important parts of a baby’s growth. You are obviously unable physically see the brain’s development, which makes it all the more crucial to pay special attention to it.

A baby’s brain develops in two ways: experience-expectant and experience-dependent

Experience-Expectant

Experience-Dependent

The brain expects the universe to throw different types of experiences at it and the brain develops in response to these   experiences.

  • For example, the brain’s response to the difference light & dark, different smells, or tastes.
           The brain develops through unique experiences.

  • For example, the brain of a sketch artist and a guitar player will differ from one another because they have used and experienced stimuli in different areas of their brains.

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What exactly does “use it or lose it” mean?

Your baby’s brain goes through so much growth at the beginning of their lives. There are different parts (made of nerves & cells) of the brain which grow at specific times and rates, these parts are all responsible for specific tasks. If these parts aren’t simulated correctly either through experience-expectant development or experience-dependent development, then these parts won’t work properly and eventually disappear.

How can you stop your baby from “losing” it?

Simple! Keep playing with your baby! Keep talking to your baby! Basically, keep loving your baby! Placing unfamiliar toys, playing quick games of Peek-A-Boo, and even reading to your baby are great ways of stimulating your baby’s brain and creating different experiences for their brains to respond to. How your baby feels and what your baby sees, hears, and tastes all have a great affect on their development. Keeping the environment of your baby as stimulating and caring as possible will be very beneficial in successful brain development!

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