From dropping a spoon to playing peek-a-boo: Why these things are important for your child's 360° Development
Find out how to nurture your little one's 360° development.
If your child is now above six months old, you have already probably noticed that he is very curious about what’s going on in his small world.
He squeals in delight repeatedly when you play peek-a-boo with him, and every time he drops his spoon and you hand it back to him, he drops it again!
While your child’s adorable antics may not seem that significant in the scheme of things, providing him with plenty of stimulation along with proper nutrition to continue doing what he does is an important part of 360° Development.
What is 360° development and how is it achieved?
360° Development refers to your child’s growth that is demonstrated in 4 key developmental areas: Cognitive, Motor, Emotional and Communication.
Appropriate nutrition, environmental influence and sensory stimulation play an important role in your child’s developing brain and overall growth development.
While your little one’s brain isn’t adding new cells at the same rate it did after birth, it continues to add new axons and dendrites, the branches that allow signals to pass from neuron to neuron and facilitate communication between different regions of the brain.¹
As the neurons go through a process called myelination, these signals travel faster and faster, laying the groundwork for increasingly complex cognition function.
Physical growth is also rapid at this age. Your child acquires many new motor abilities during this developmental period.
You may not believe it, but all this is connected to your little one’s love of dropping spoons, playing peek-a-boo and more!
Keep reading on the next page.
Dropping a spoon or toy repeatedly and then expecting you to pick it up every time is heaps of fun for your little one, but certainly not for you! But did you know that’s exactly what he should be doing at this stage?
Children gain an understanding of concepts like cause and effect and object permanence through experimentation and repetition.
When his spoon falls, he learns about gravity; when it hits the floor with a clink, he learns about sound; and when you reach to pick it up, he learns that he can count on you to meet his needs.
What’s more, with repetition of this action, neural circuits in your child’s brain are strengthened, and the foundation for more sophisticated learning and understanding is laid.
Motor skills development
The fine motor coordination your little one needs for batting at a mobile with his hand, pulling and pushing is made possible by the increasing number of neural connections in his cerebellum.
These motor pathways become even more refined and strengthened as he repeats and practices each action.
Your child’s adorable attempts at speech in the first year are the result of sophisticated language development taking place in the brain and through learning processes.
He perceives many more sounds than adults do, and his challenge is to learn to distinguish between those sounds.
So, as he begins to focus on isolating certain speech sounds and filtering out others, he starts to pick up language.
This “editing” allows your child to weed out some of the neural pathways that aren’t being used.
Emotional and Social
The ability to interpret facial expressions, as well as hearing and language skills are keys to successful social interactions.
After turning six months old, your child becomes more and more interested in and engaged with those around him.
Children also develop attachment to their primary caregivers during this time, so you can expect your child to fully recognize everyone in the family and be wary of strangers.
While plenty of stimulation from parents and other caregivers is essential, so is good nutrition.
Find out about the important nutrients found in Enfamil A+ Stage 2 on the next page…
Every time your child thinks, billions of neurons will connect rapidly for a new learning experience.
That’s why Mead Johnson designed Enfamil A+ Stage 2 with scientifically formulated levels of 17mg DHA and 34mg ARA per 100kcal.
It has DHA levels that help meet recommendations* for infants aged 6-12 months. DHA & ARA are important building blocks for brain and eye development.
The new Enfamil A+ Stage 2 is also formulated with a unique blend of GOS and Polydextrose (PDX) which is patented in US, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Prebiotics (GOS) stimulates the growth of beneficial intestinal flora to maintain a healthy digestive system.
To find out more about the new Enfamil A+ Stage 2, click here.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age-appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.
* FAO/WHO recommends daily DHA intake of 10-12mg/kg body weight for infants 6-12 months. FAO 2010. Fats and fatty acids in human nutrition. Report of an expert consultation. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper no. 91. FAO: Rome.
1. Bloom, FE, Beal, MF and Kupfer, DJ. 2006. The DANA guide to brain health. A practical family reference from medical experts. Washington: DANA Press.
Parents, how do you encourage your child’s 360° Development? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment below.