Does environment play any role in your child’s cognitive development? I am sure most of us agree that yes, it plays a huge role. However, the real question is to what extent? There are various factors that play an influential role in the baby’s overall growth and development. Growth which begins from the time of conception, prenatal stage.
A child’s life begins in the womb, and so is the journey of growth and development. Early years of growth are very crucial, especially the prenatal developmental stage and a few years post birth. Though the developmental journey of the brain continues even in later years, first 6 – 8 years are most important.
Brain development depends on a few crucial aspects –
Baby’s cognitive development highly depends on the internal and external environmental factors. Genetics carries a lot of weight; however, the key to positive child development lies in nurturing and cognitive learning.
Mother’s nutrition during pregnancy, parenting, and exposure to the outer world all impact cognition. It is important for a mother to take care of her nutrition. She can even take SimMim IQ+ that is enriched with vital nutrients such as DHA, Choline Iron Zinc, and Iodine. It supports foetal brain development and has antioxidants like vitamin E and C that supports immunity.
Prenatal stage – the nine months of pregnancy are the basic building grounds for the child’s growth. Baby gets direct nutrition from her/his mother, any deviance from the basic nutrition can be fatal for the mother as well as the child.
The foetal growth responses during this stage are mainly due to physical and mental stimulus. This stage is most vulnerable and is also considered a stepping stone for future growth. Hence, the mother’s nutrition during pregnancy marks the highest status.
Breastfeed – Natural Immunity Booster for the Baby –
Mother’s milk is enriched with life-saving nutrients and are considered most crucial for the baby. I strongly recommend exclusive breastfeeding the baby for the first six months. However, for some reasons, if the baby cannot be breastfed, formula milk can also be prescribed by the expert advisor.
“For your new-born, no food is better than breast milk, and the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for the baby for the first six months of life. 90% of the baby’s brain growth happens up to 1 year of age. Breast milk contains IQ nutrients like DHA, Iron, Choline, and Taurine.” – Ref 1.
Lack of nutrition during pregnancy result in insufficient elements to create a healthy internal growth environment for the baby. Which might expose the child to diseases in later stages.
Family Bonding & Emotional Connect –
Parents create a healthy bond with the baby during pregnancy and after birth. Family plays an important role in our development; this bond creates and imbibes the basic structure of our core. For example, the happy lively family brings self-confidence and social acceptability in a child. On the other hand, negative and abusive childhood adds to mental and physical suffering.
Family brings a feeling of security and safety; hence, a healthy and positive family is the perfect platform for a child’s cognitive growth. It also plays a major role in developing the emotional quotient of a child.
In a family, the child also grows under the influence of different parenting styles. Extended families and well-bonded relationships establish positivity during early growth years in the children. In nuclear families, equal parenting by both parents bring newer perspective to children and they learn beyond the role of gender biases.
Exposure to the External Environment –
Schools, friends, society, surrounding, and learning, etc marks a huge impact on the child’s growth. Kids spend most of their time outside home and family, and hence their interaction with the outer world is more as compared to that of family.
This bargains a huge importance in the child’s mental/cognitive development. Along with interactions, various cognitive or learning activities also help in accelerating child’s growth. Cognitive growth cannot be processed or calculated, it is an ongoing activity which gives right challenges to the brain for growth. When we do not expose children to challenges, mental activities, inquisitiveness, the cognitive growth slows down.
According to the World Health Organization, inadequate learning opportunities are one of the biggest contributors to a disruption in development.
Everything, right from family to school, pregnancy to external exposure and right nutrition in growth years, all should be taken into consideration for providing a conducive environment for child’s growth.
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Reference 1. Nutrition supplement for pregnant women.