Understanding your babies cognitive needs | Building Attachments and Bonds Support Blog

Understanding your babies cognitive needs

Babies Brain

The experiences and relationships your baby has in their early years help shape the adult they will become. Your baby’s brain has been developing since conception. By the time your baby arrives, they will have all of the brain cells they will have for the rest of their life.  It is the connections between these cells that really make the brain work. Brain connections enable us to move, think, communicate and do just about everything. Brains develop through use, so for your baby by interacting, observing and doing things. Your babies early years are crucial for making these connections.

What can I do?

  • Respond to your baby: This is especially important when your baby is sick, hungry, upset, or just needs some comfort. Babies will reach out for you by babbling, making sounds, or smiling and when you respond in a loving and consistent way, you help your baby’s brain develop.
  • Fun activities and exploring your surroundings: Talking, reading and singing to your baby are all fun ways to help your baby grow. Getting down on the floor to play, playing peek-a-boo, talking to your baby about your daily routines, tell your baby what is going on, point out interesting things that you see together, this will help  develop their other senses—hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
  • Provide a safe and loving home for your baby: Develop daily routines and make calm spaces for baby
  • Develop community connections: Get to know the services and programs available in your community. Playgroups and drop-ins are great places to meet other parents, and many have professionals who can answer questions. If you’re not sure where to go, try contacting your local Start Well centre. (https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Health-Social-Care/Children-and-young-people/Childrens-Centres/Start-Well-Centres.aspx)  
  • Reach out if you need help: If you feel stressed, overwhelmed or are struggling with bonding with your baby / infant, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to your health care provider, family/friend or BABS practitioner.

Your baby’s developing brain needs:

  • Healthy food: Once your baby is ready for solid foods, a balanced diet of fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy and proteins. Think of feeding time as a brain-building time too: making eye contact, smiling, and having skin contact are all positive experiences.
  • Moving and being active : Giving your baby a chance to have tummy time, sitting up, crawling and playing with toys helps them strengthen and develop their motor skills. By giving your child the opportunity to explore their surroundings it will helps them think, learn and grow
  • Sleep and Baby States: Every baby is different and they sleep in different ways at different times. It is important for you to get to know your baby’s patterns and feel confident in recognising and responding to their cues to help your baby feel calm, happy and understood.   There are 6 baby states: deep sleep, light sleep, drowsy sleep, quiet alert, unsettled/active alert and crying. A series of short clips looking at each of the 6 baby states can be found at https://aimh.org.uk/getting-to-know-your-baby/


If you would like further advice or support for bonding and building relationships with your baby, please contact our Building Attachments and Bonds Support Service. You can find out more about the service or self refer online at https://www.gmmh.nhs.uk/building-attachments-and-bonds-support or phone us on 01942 764 448 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm)


As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust

We place cookies on your computer to help make this website better. You can at any time read our Privacy Policy to find out more. By using this site we will assume that you are happy to continue.

Please choose a setting: