The Most Important Word When It Comes to Caring for Your Baby
Nathan Wallis, neuroscience and parenting educator, shares the most important word you need to know when it comes to caring for your baby
4 min read
So what is the single most important word you need to understand to enhance human development, to get all of your baby’s brain online?
The one word I would choose is responsiveness.
Responsiveness just means that you are responding to your baby. It means that your baby is initiating and you’re responding. So often we as parents want to initiate. Of course initiating contact is better than ignoring the baby! But what I’m saying is that when you let the baby lead and you follow their cue, that does far more to stimulate their brain development than if you simply just give them a cue.
In plain language, that means when I’m holding a baby in my arms and they go “uh uh uh”, and I say “I’m dad dad dad” because I want the baby to say dad – that’s not being responsive. Responsive is where the baby says “uh uh uh” and I say “uh uh uh” back to them. Basically the baby is like “Oh he’s copying me, he’s mimicking me”.
That’s exactly how the baby is going to develop most of their language – by copying you, so if he sees you mimicking him, he starts mimicking earlier and develops language faster.
So the key word is responsiveness. Follow your baby’s cues. They know what’s good for them so respond to their lead. They’re really the geniuses and the expert when it comes to play and human development. They’ve got a built-in program.
If we learn to respond to our baby and listen to our baby, you’ll see what you need to do as a parent because your baby will show you.