My baby just turned eight months old and I’m beginning to realize more and more just how much he relies on me. I am his source for food, safety, comfort, and brain-enriching activities. I am his world.
That’s why my job as a mom is the most important in the world; I am shaping a little human. Cognitive development is vital to babies—it’s how they acquire knowledge and interact with the environment around them. Here are some ways I like to support my baby’s brain development, all while on our daily morning walk.
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5 Brain-Boosting Activities with Baby While You Walk
Walking has become one of my favorite activities to do with my baby and I can tell he loves it too. His legs start kicking excitedly when we get ready to head out and he’s got a huge smile on his face. Being outside is a total sensory experience that we as adults have done so much that we’ve forgotten the magic. But to a baby, this is the FIRST time they are experiencing the feel of sunshine on their skin, the way the breeze ruffles their hair, and the many incredible sights and sounds associated with nature. While we walk, I like to focus on the following.
I like to point out the way the light reflects off the water, or the color of the leaves on the changing fall trees. Remember, your voice is your baby’s first exposure to language development, so even if your baby can’t respond yet, your verbal communication is vital to his or her development. Our favorite part of the walk is watching the geese. His eyes follow their every movement and when they waddle over to the water and plop in, he’s completely engrossed.
Brain development depends on a total sensory experience and sounds play a huge part of that. The sound of my voice, along with my baby’s environment, are all helping his brain process sounds and make sense of them. Whenever we walk, I point out the sounds of birds whistling in the trees, children laughing at the park, and an airplane flying overhead.
Do you remember the sensation of tasting something for the very first time? For a baby, everything is new and a huge part of their growth and development begins with proper nutrition. Introducing him to new soft foods has been so entertaining! The texture of mashed bananas, the taste of pureed green beans, and the coolness of a frozen popsicle are all experiences that help baby’s brain learn and grow!
In terms of nutrition, I breastfeed and supplement with Enfamil NeuroPro™ Gentleease formula which has a brain-building fat-protein blend of MFGM and DHA (previously only found in breast milk.*) Every mother is different, and I love the convenience of being able to feed my baby while we’re out and about, like on our morning walks.
Enfamil NeuroPro™ is the first and only formula to add MFGM as an ingredient in amounts supported by clinical research.
MFGM has been clinically shown to help close the gap in cognitive development between formula-fed and breastfed infants.**
There is a growing body of research that indicates that nutrition early in life may be important for learning later in the preschool years. (Source Enfamil)
Visit Enfamil.com or call 1-800-BABY-123 (1-800-222-9123) for more information and to request a free sample.
Babies are incredibly in tune with their sense of touch. My little guy loves the feel of his soft blanket and the first time I let him feel the grass, it was hilarious! His toes scrunched up and so did his face.
Whenever we take a walk, I bend down to let my baby feel the crunchy leaves, touch the bark of a tree, or feel the cold metal fence as we walk by. Babies learn so much from their sense of touch!
Finally, I like to point out any smells we encounter along our walks. Sometimes it will be a farmer burning weeds, or the smell of freshly mowed grass. I don’t know how much he understands, but I can see he is taking everything in. The world is exciting and brand new and I love being his guide in this new place.
If you want to support your baby’s brain development, it’s as simple as premium nutrition and a beautiful walk outside.