Did you know your child is born with 100 billion brain cells – the most they will ever have – and that their brain grows faster during the first three years of life than at any other stage?  

The brain grows from around 400g to 1100g by three years of age. 

What supports healthy brain development?

A healthy brain provides a strong foundation for learning, behaviour and positive mental health. Research has found that nurturing and responsive relationships help build healthy brains.

Good nutrition is necessary for healthy brain development, especially during pregnancy and infancy. These are crucial periods for the formation of the brain 

Everyday experiences and communication with caring and responsive adults are the keys to healthy brain development. 

New experiences and brain connections are developed through the senses of touch, smell, sight, and hearing. It is important to expose your child to new experiences, and to reinforce positive experiences by repeating them. This will help make sure that the brain connections become strong and work better together. 

While a person’s brain does not reach maturity until about 25 years of age, there are many things to learn during the long journey from birth to adulthood. For example, eating, drinking, using tools (spoon and fork), toilet training and social skills. That’s quite a list for little people to learn! 

How can you help?

  • Sing nursery rhymes with your child. Try to find songs that have movements of the hands, feet, or whole body. 
  • Do activities that involve building, jumping, hopping or running. These can be adapted to suit indoor and outdoor play. Make an obstacle course with hoops or build a couch fortress. 
  • Drawing, writing, painting, stamping are all great low-cost activities. 
  • Get outside and explore together. Go to the local park or backyard. What can you see and find? 
  • Involve your child in tasks you are doing. While it may seem simple, they are watching and learning all the time. 
  • Allow plenty of positive opportunities with other adults, family and friends. Positive exposure in a loving and caring environment is extremely important. 

Want to know more?

Raising Children Network –Toddlers development

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Developmental milestones