Ever wonder which plays a more important role in brain development, nature (genes) or nurture (environment)? Or how developed is the brain by birth? Or maybe what role parents play in a baby’s brain development? ZERO TO THREE has compiled a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions about brain development that provides research-based answers to these questions and more.
In the first three years of life as a child’s brain grows to 85% of its adult size, the brain is far more malleable than it is in maturity. This means young children’s brains are more open to learning and positive influences and it also means they are more vulnerable to developmental problems should their environment be un-nurturing. The baby’s brain is literally being shaped positively or negatively by their day-to-day interactions with the people who provide a baby’s care. This is why a baby’s social environment is so critical and has an enduring effect on future development and learning.
Compared to other industrialized nations, the U.S. does little to proactively nurture brain development between conception and age 3. For Our Babies advocates for the kinds of environment, experiences and relationships that infants need in order to thrive. To capitalize on the opportunity that rapid human brain development provides, and to realize the benefits that healthy children provide to all of us, For Our Babies advocates for Prenatal care, Paid Leave & Well Baby Care; Screening & Follow-Up Services and Quality Infant/Toddler Care.