Positive early experiences are critical for our children’s brain development. It has been proven by at research centers all over the country. Attention to every stage of a child’s development is urgent! The care that infants get has dramatic and long-term effects on how children develop and learn, on how they cope with stress, and on how they react to the world around them. Science tells us that the right kind of experiences in their early years can actually help our children’s brains grow. That can affect how they continue to learn later in life.
Babies have neural pathways and connections that allow information to travel through the brain. The pathways that are developed in your child’s first three years act like road maps to later learning. Both nature and nurture play a role, but the child’s environment can actually change the way the brain works.
What You Should Know:
Good early childcare experiences expand your infants and children’s capacity to grow
Holding, cuddling and talking actually affect how your infant and child’s brain grows
Loving and supportive child care “programs” the brain to handle stress and control emotions
The first years of life are the foundation for future experiences for infants and children.
Reading to and singing with your baby and child every day is a simple and effective way to help brain development.
Community Resources for You and Your Family
Texas Poison Control Center
Call 800-222-1222 in a poison emergency.
Do not wait for victim to look or feel sick.
If victim has collapsed or not breathing, call 911
Child and Family Safety
Texas Abuse/Neglect Hotline Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
800-252-5400 800-4-A-Child (800-422-4453)
Texas Infant Safe Sleep National Domestic Violence Hotline
BabyRoomToBreathe.org 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233)
Texas Baby Moses Hotline Texas Water Safety
877-904-SAVE (877-904-7283) WatchKidsAroundWater.org
Child Development Information
Born Learning Texas Early Childhood Intervention
(Select a language, the select option 3)
Infant, Toddler, and 3-year old Learning
Read to your child daily, several times a day! Discuss the pictures when you are looking at the pages. Ask he or she to point out specific items. Read alphabet books or Sing the Alphabet.
Treat your child like he or she is intelligent (they are) Hold conversations with your toddler. Ask them their opinions, likes and dislikes. Listen when they talk and respond in a way that shows you understand. Model correct pronunciation as well as good listening skills.
Add details: “Yes, that’s a car. It’s a blue fancy car. It’s really pretty and fast!!
Use proper grammar and complete sentences. Encourage your child’s imagination by giving them puppets, dolls, stuffed animals and clothing items to use pretend play. Make a fort with a blanket or put on a puppet show.
Wash your hands before handling the baby or use hand sanitizer because their immune system isn’t strong. Support your infant’s head and neck. Never shake your baby in play or frustration. Ensure your baby is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or car seat.
Bonding and soothing are important for their emotional and physical growth. Babies, especially babies with medical problems or premature babies may respond to infant massage. Babies usually love vocal sounds, such as talking, babbling, singing, cooing, and reading.
Have all of your supplies ready at the changing table. To prevent or heal diaper rash, change the baby often, especially after bowel movements. If the rash continues more than 3 days or gets worse, call your doctor.
Sponge baths to start and then a bath 2-3 times per week in the first year. Use gentle soap and make sure the temperature is only a little warm. Neve leave them alone.
Newborns should be fed on demand. Your baby may cue you by crying, putting fingers in his or her mouth, or making sucking noises. Be sure to burp your baby after they drink their bottles.
Newborns sleep about 16 hours or more. Always place babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) Do not use blankets, quilts, sheepskins, stuffed animals, and pillows in the crib. Do not share a bed with a baby, but sharing a bedroom for the first year is fine.
Many newborns have their days and nights “mixed up.” One way to help them is to keep stimulation at night to a minimum.