Baby Brain Connection

Parenting for Early Childhood Literacy

Parents Guide for the 1st Year

Dear Parents,
From the very minute that your precious child is born, you are your baby’s first teacher. New research shows that the 1st year of life is a critical period in helping infants become aware of language.Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly. His brain is making many connections as he learns about his world. Every time you talk, touch, cuddle, rock, sing, or read to him, you are helping his brain develop. Does this surprise you? It’s a fact.  Although he may not understand the words, your baby will slowly begin to make connections between words and their meaning.

​ By the end of the 1st year babies begin to use some words.   The time you have spent talking, playing and interacting, and reading to your child will provide a strong foundation for his learning to talk and then learning new words as he grows. These skills will better prepare your child for successful learning in preschool and kindergarten.  There is even evidence that talking to babies in the 1st year can help them become better learners throughout grade school and help them in later life too.

​Some parents may be unsure about what to do with this information.  Others may be looking for ideas and support. How can you, as a parent, best help your baby’s brain development during the 1st year? This guide was created to help. All of the ideas and activities in the guide have been developed by child development specialists and then tried and tested by parents. There is nothing here that you can’t do. You are your child’s first teacher, and probably the most important.  Enjoy teaching your baby - all the learning activities are easy, fun to do, and free!

Table of Contents

Early Brain Development
Videos: Three Core Concepts in Early Development: Experiences Build Brain Architecture, Serve and Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry, Toxic Stress Derails Health Development
Background information 
Videos: Parentese, Keep Talking
Background information, ideas and activities
Playing and Interacting
Videos: Copycats, Careful Frank, Book of Jenny, Testing 1 2 3 
Background information, ideas and activities
Video: Dad’s Club
Background information, ideas and activities