A newborn baby is a miracle; such a tiny body completely dependent on others. This tiny life, so full of promise for the future leads us to wonder, "What will be best for our baby?"  Parents hope and desire the best for their baby, but what does this mean? What needs to be in place for a baby to thrive physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially? New parents can be overwhelmed with advice and information. The good news it is as simple as: Attention, Bonding, Communication, and Discipline. The science of brain development is the foundation for the good discipline using the ABCD's, the building blocks every baby needs for healthy development.

The brain of a newborn baby is still very much a work-in-progress.  All of the other body parts are fully developed, but infant sized. A newborn's brain is only about one-quarter the size of an adult's yet it grows to about 80 percent of adult size by 3 years of age and 90 percent by age 5.  A baby is born with 100 billion brain cells; during the first month of life the number of brain cell connections increases 24-fold to 1,000 trillion.   The good news is intelligence can be shaped after birth, most of this during the first five years.   So a baby's early experiences are critical, and you can easily influence brain development.  See the Baby Brain Map for age specific information and some suggested activities.

BrightStartâ„¢ is designed to look at these essential ABCD's in the context of daily life. Parents will share ideas, and stories from their own experiences as together we learn more about brain development, discipline and ways of nurturing your child's development. For additional reading we recommend Bright from the Start by Jill Stamm.