The importance of the first three years.

You will find a lot of information about the importance of the first three years.

Rightly so they are critical.

I remember when I first saw brain development represented as stockings full of rice like the photo above.  I loved it as it is such a clear image of the rapid rate of brain development.

At birth a baby’s brain weighs 380 grams, by 3 years it is around 1270 grams and then at adolescence it is approximately 1450 grams.

So in the first three years your babies brain will grow around 890 grams and then close to 180 grams across the next 10 years.

The first three years matter. But the thing is, I think we need to not get caught up in thinking we need to be doing anything too fancy, truthfully a caring and responsive adult is a powerhouse for supporting early brain development. The Center on the Developing Child: Harvard University call it Serve and Return. I call it chatting with your child.  When we talk about what they are interested in and share with them the world around them. Share our stories. All of these things build neural connections and support the brain development of our young children. The reason the Center on the Developing Child call it serve and return is because it is like a game of tennis. We take turns in doing something and in this case talking.  I say something, you say something back. This two way conversation and interaction is really valuable to developing brains and minds. I sometimes wish I knew then what I know now, however I also know not to dwell there. My kids are 10, 12, 14 and 16. I am grateful I was always such a ‘natterer’ to them.

Small Connections is about being your Speechie friend. It is through conversation and connection that we can support each other.

I support families to build language foundations one step at a time. If we can improve children’s language and their connection with others we can improve their world. If we prioritise interactions and conversation we can support brain development.

If you are keen to go on the waiting list for my next Program for Parents, a two week, online program to build your confidence and provide  tools to support your young child’s talking, speech and language development. Pop your name on the waiting list here.