brain building begins at birth
at birth, a baby's brain is about one-third the size of an adult's brain. in 90 days, it more than doubles its volume, to 55 percent of its final size. learn more fascinating facts and science about how little everyday moments count to help build a baby’s brain.
the science and stats behind building a child’s brain
the building of a brain begins before birth and continues into adulthood. the process sets the foundation for all the health, learning, and behavior that follow. it’s truly amazing and the impact little moments has on a child’s brain is powerful.
our brain’s ability to change is the strongest in the first few years after birth, making it easier to form strong neural connections than later in life.
brain architecture is shaped by experiences and develops in the context of relationships. when parents and caregivers do “serve and return” activities with a child, their brains form strong neural connections.
back and forth activities with a child create secure relationships that protect the brain from stress.
5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return, Harvard Center on Developing Child.
simple skills like saying a word or recognizing a color support later developing skills like reading and writing. a weak early foundation affects everything that comes after.
80% brain growth by age 3
at birth, the brain already has all of the neurons it will ever have. it doubles in size in the first year, and by age three it has reached 80 percent of its adult volume. neural connections are formed at a faster rate during these years than at any other time.
source: 80% of a child’s brain develops by age three.1 Knickmeyer RC1, Gouttard S, Kang C, Evans D, Wilber K, Smith JK, Hamer RM, Lin W, Gerig G, Gilmore JH, J Neurosci. 2008 Nov 19;28(47):12176-82. A structural MRI study of human brain development from birth to 2 years. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19020011.
a million neural connections per second
a child’s brain undergoes an amazing period of development from birth to three—producing more than a million neural connections each second.
source: Center on the Developing Child (2007). The Science of Early Childhood Development (InBrief). Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu.
hearing 2 or more languages helps with focus
babies who are spoken to regularly in two or more languages have better executive function and focus later in life, specifically better attention or focus, which helps with school and work performance.
source: Marian and Shook, Cerebrum, 2012 Sep-Oct; 2012: 13. The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual. Published online 2012 Oct 31, retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583091/ .