Today I wanted to discuss a little bit about the infant’s brain and why parenting the infant’s brain is so important.
Your baby’s brain is different than yours as an adult and….
You Cannot Teach or Train Your Baby To Do Something Their Brain Cannot Handle.
The reason for this is that babies are born immature. All babies are born prematurely when compared to mammals and other primates.
There are three parts of the brain…
The survival brain is the only part of the brain that is fully sort of online at birth. So for newborns, this survival brain is the one that is turned on and fully functioning. And initially, this is really meant to survive to help our babies survive, but also to help them really start engaging in relationships, which are needed for their survival.
The survival brain also allows us to orient to things like smell sound, facial recognition, which babies need expressions, and then eye contact as well.
This is where the limbic system is housed.
It regulates mood and also how we respond to stress. And this emotional brain doesn’t really start to form or come online, and really start to develop until it starts in the first three years of life. But it’s not fully formed, fully matured even by then.
Frontal Brain, Pre-frontal Cortex, or the Frontal Lobe
This really is the part of the brain where sort of our true self-regulation happens, our true ability to calm ourselves from a distressed state. It’s often called the thinking brain or the cognitive brain.
This part of the brain doesn’t actually even start to turn on until we’re both three or four years of age, and it doesn’t fully mature until we’re in our 20s.
So why then are we expecting our babies to be able to calm themselves and soothe themselves from a distressed state at night when they wake up, and they’re crying because they’re hungry, or they’re thirsty, or they’re cold, or they’re hot, or they are uncomfortable, or they are scared because they don’t know where their mommy went?
This is so important because we are really missing the boat, and we’re causing so much stress and overwhelm in mamas all over the place.
Want more support on sleep, development, reflux, tongue-ties and more for babies 0-2 years? Join our community of mamas in the Sleep Deprived Mamas: Holistic + Heart-Centred Support (without sleep training).