Infants begin learning during the very first minutes of their lives. By age 3, about 85 percent of the brain’s core structure is formed, or hardwired. The process of hardwiring connections affects development of a child’s vision, language, hearing, movement, and ability to interact with others.
Children need a warm and loving environment to develop the brain connections and pathways that will help them learn throughout their lives. Physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development are all linked together. Everything in the brain and the body is connected. Babies are learning to talk, to work their bodies, and to form strong bonds with caring adults. Everything works together to build their brains.
Your baby learns about herself by the way people treat her. When babies can trust caring adults, they have the courage to reach out, explore, and learn. When you spend time enjoying and playing together, your baby learns how to love and relate to others. Parents are the best and first teachers that babies have. Good parent-child relationships are the foundation for your baby’s brain and will last for a lifetime.
The first three years of a child's life are critical for developing the healthy brain circuits that will be foundation for all future brain development. Zero to Three is an organization that has assembled many useful resources on brain development and learning. The group's Web site is: http://www.zerotothree.org/.