Why Routines are an Essential Tool for Building Baby Brains

by | Sep 27, 2022

Baby brains are often compared to sponges, and it’s true – they absorb information at an amazing rate. While an incredible amount of learning takes place long before a baby is born as he or she is developing in the womb, babies’ brains continue to develop at a rapid pace once they make their grand entrance into the world. In the first few months, they learn about the people and objects around them. Everything around them is new to them– and so everything around them presents an opportunity for learning. 


Imagine everything around you being new and unfamiliar? It sounds pretty daunting, no?

Luckily, babies are remarkably adaptable as they begin to navigate the world around them– but there is one big thing you can do as a parent to help make things a little easier on your little one: create and follow a routine!


As any parent knows, routines and repetition are essential for a baby’s development. Through routines, babies learn about expectations and begin to understand the world around them. Repetition helps them to build neural pathways and develop skills more quickly. By introducing new patterns and routines, parents can help their babies’ brains to grow and develop in healthy ways. And the great news is that baby routines don’t need to be rigid or unchangeable (but if a more “strict” schedule works for you, that’s fine too!). The key to a good routine is that things happen at a predictable time, pace and in a predictable order. The steps of your routine act as signals that tell your baby that a transition is about to occur, linking one activity to the next as you move throughout your day. You may have heard of the popular “eat-play-sleep” routine, or have a special bedtime routine that lets your baby know it’s time to wind down before they go to sleep, so it’s important to know that your routine is as customizable and unique as you need it to be. 


A 6-month-old baby’s daily routine may look something like the following:


Wake up: Around 7 a.m, followed by diaper change and milk


Breakfast: Around 8 a.m.


Playtime: After breakfast and before first nap


Nap One: Around 10 a.m. to Noon


Lunch: Around 1 p.m.


Outdoor Time: After lunch and before second nap


Nap Two: Around 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Dinner: Around 7 p.m. 


Bedtime Routine: After dinner


Bedtime: 8 p.m.


This is a general routine that leaves plenty of wiggle room so that you can do the things that are important to you and your baby. For example, if your baby is a smallTalk user, you may find that the perfect time to do that is during baby’s first “block” of playtime, after breakfast. Or, you might make a language-learning ritual that occurs after baby’s second nap of the day.  If baby begins to associate a specific activity within a recognizable flow of their day, they’ll be more prepared for what’s about to happen and actually begin to look forward to the activity! What’s more, repetition allows baby’s brain to form stronger neural connections, which leads to positive brain change. 


And speaking of neural connections and positive brian change, it goes without saying that one of the best ways to help babies form strong neural connections is to expose them to multiple languages. Studies have shown that babies are ideal language learners and learn new languages with ease– and the earlier you start, the better. There is also evidence that suggests that babies who are exposed to multiple languages at an early age develop their brains in a way that makes learning other languages later in life easier, and improves communication skills and cognitive flexibility later in life. 


So if you’ve already created a smallTalk ritual with your baby, know that you’re actually doing two major things to boost your baby’s brain development through exposure to multiple languages as a routine part of their daily activities. In fact, babies who have completed just 20 smallTalk sessions of at least 5 minutes in length each have demonstrated measurable positive brain change, proving that small habits can have a big payoff!

Growing Up Brainy is brought to you by smallTalk. smallTalk allows your baby to engage with foreign language through play. This interactive language exposure during infancy results in what we like to call brain magic-- wiring your little one’s brain with the building blocks of a new language and gaining them a different and better brain for a lifetime. Look for our first product, the smallTalk Paci™, launching in 2023.

Join the Waitlist for the smallTalk Paci™

The smallTalk Paci takes your baby’s engagement to the next level, and is coming fall of 2022!

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