4 habits that affect the child's brain development

The brain begins to form from the early stages of gestation. Then, once come to the world, the Brain development continues, especially during the early years of childhood. Can we stimulate the brain development of our children? Are there habits that can affect and enhance it? In this article, we tell you.

The brain development of the child

The brain begins to form at the first two weeks of gestation. Later, Towards the end of pregnancy, the cerebral cortex is formed. However, it is not fully developed, and it will not do so until after delivery.

Indeed, at birth, the baby's brain is still in the process of formation and maturation. In fact, it's not until the age of three years when it reaches practically 80% of an adult brain. It is, therefore, a stage in which the brain develops at a shocking speed, probably the reason why we are unable to remember previous events at that age.

Thus, the first years of life are fundamental for brain development. In fact, many of its basic structures will be developed:

  • The visual cortex. By six months the baby can already see practically as an adult (depth, focus, etc.)
  • The cerebellum multiplies its size, allowing the development of motor activities.
  • Myelination it gets faster, allowing messages to reach the brain much faster.
  • Neuronal growth. Many neuronal synapses are created, even more than those that will reach adulthood. This explains why children can learn more things and more quickly than adults.

However, the development does not end at this age. Conversely, will continue to develop at a dizzying pace, continuing its maturation until even adolescence.

Brain development is also an active and interactive process that it is shaped as the child grows and learns. Therefore, factors not only biological or physical influence, but also others such as the environment (parents, caregivers), lifestyle, etc.

Habits that affect the child's brain development

1. Interact

The interaction with the child is crucial for their brain development. Through this, adequate stimulation of the brain is achieved.

When a child expresses himself, either babbling or crying, and finds a visual contact, a hug, or an oral response in response, in your brain you establish or reinforce neuronal connections that will later help you develop your communication and social skills.

It's about what the Child Development Center at Harvard University calls «Serve and return«. In fact, scientists at this center indicate that A relationship without interaction, that is, without an answer, can even become a serious danger to the child's development.

In effect, for its correct development, the worker needs interaction in a way that receives adequate stimulation. If it does not exist, the stress responses will be activated, releasing hormones that can lead to deficiencies in brain development.

We recommend you read: How can we stimulate a baby in the first 6 months of life?

2. Avoid toxic stress

According to the Center for Child Development at Harvard University, it is important to pay attention to how the child learns to face adversity during its development.

When we feel threatened, it is normal for our body to respond with certain physical reactions such as an increase in heart rate and the release of hormones such as cortisol. In this sense, a child who finds a positive and supportive environment at this time, will learn to successfully regulate their stress, even at the physiological level.

On the other hand, children who do not feel calm and support when they feel a threat and, therefore, their response is extreme or lasting, may even suffer damage to their brain architecture, according to this Center.

For this reason, We must show support and help the child control and calm their toxic stress responses. For this, we must support him so that he can learn to convert them into normal and positive stress responses. Thus, it is necessary that the child has the stable support of their environment.

We recommend you read: Keys to foster self-esteem in children

Physical exercise

Encourage good habits such as physical exercise can contribute to optimal brain development in the child.

Physical exercise is also a determining factor in brain development. Indeed, as is logical, the brain is linked to general health. In this sense, some studies indicate that Exercise during childhood can improve the cognitive functions of the little ones.

But, what's more, physical exercise seems to be linked to a lower risk of childhood depression, according to a study. In this sense, exercise is more than recommended for the prevention of mental conditions that could appear later.

Thus, for example, we must not forget that some aerobic exercises such as riding a bicycle have a really positive impact on hyperactive children or those with attention deficit.


The relationship established between the child and the person who cares for him is fundamental. In effect, it is very important for your physical, emotional and intellectual development.

The child needs to feel protected, safe and caring. Likewise, you need a stable reference of support, dedication, responsibility and love. For this reason, those who are in charge of children should always be receptive and willing to respond.

In fact, parents or caregivers with an indifferent attitude can be a reason for the subsequent appearance of mental problems. For example, learning disorders, anxiety and behavior, among others.

As you have seen, the brain is in constant development during childhood. Therefore, for a healthy and healthy development, it is necessary that the interaction with its environment and the people who care for it be stimulating and active.