10 Simple Ways to Encourage Infant Brain Development

10 Simple Ways to Encourage Infant Brain Development

1. Engage

First and foremost, the greatest gift you can give your baby is yourself—meaning your attention, your time and your energy. There are times when this level of devotion can be trying but in years to come you will delight in having spent quality time with your child; reading, cuddling, playing and building a lifelong bond and connection.

2. Alternate sides when feeding

Mother Nature is so clever; take for example the fascinating fact that a newborn has their clearest visual acuity at 20–25 cm—the exact distance between their own face and their mother’s face when they are attached to the breast! Indeed, each time a newborn is fed, they are being nourished nutritionally and emotionally.
The second fascinating fact is that Mother Nature provides two breasts, not one, so that mum will naturally swap her baby from side to side whilst feeding. This ensures that even right-left brain development occurs. Therefore, if you are bottle-feeding your baby, be sure to swap your baby from one arm to the other to mimic this phenomenon.

3. Consider your baby’s head shape

There is a myth that an odd-shaped baby’s head is of no concern and will ‘right itself’ with time, however, anomalies of shape can be the first indication that your baby is susceptible to developmental delay. If their head looks uneven or you notice flat areas, this can indicate restrictions between the skull and the soft layers that cover the brain and spinal cord. A healthy brain requires good movement of the skull and spine; when this movement is impaired, brain and nerve function are also impaired. It is best—whether your infant’s head is odd-shaped or not—to have your newborn’s skeletal system checked as early as possible by a chiropractor or osteopath.

4. Prioritize ‘tummy time’

From a neurological perspective it is vitally important that babies (from three weeks of age onward) start to have short bursts of ‘tummy time’—time spent lying on their tummies and holding their own heads up. This simple act builds up their neck muscles and activates brain stem pathways which are critical for healthy brain development.

If you lay your baby on your chest and talk to them, you will encourage them to lift their heads and look you in the eyes. Also, each time you change your baby’s nappy, roll them on their stomachs for a few moments. Note: if your infant does not appear to like lying on their stomach, this could be an indication of spine or nerve irritation and it is best to have them checked by a chiropractor.

5. Give your baby objects to gaze at

Babies love visual stimulation. As well as hanging mobiles, you can provide wall charts with shapes for them to look at, ideally at varying distances. Start with black and white shapes because initially newborns see only in black and white.

6. Encourage your baby to have lots of ‘free playtime’

Whenever possible allow your infant time to move about, explore their world and entertain themselves with a variety of objects, such as cups, balls, spoons, string, a plastic mirror, etc. Every time a baby reaches out to touch something new their neurological synapses connect, eventually building circuits that are strong enough to trigger the next developmental milestone. As your baby grows older, teach them to do stimulating activities like blowing bubbles or balloons, building with blocks, doing puzzles and counting beads.

7. Have your baby’s nervous system checked

To maximize your infant’s nerve function, have them assessed by a chiropractor or cranial osteopath skilled with children. Clinical studies indicate that rapid growth of the entire brain occurs during the first year of life. The Journal of Neuroscience (2008) states that, although the first year of life may be a period of developmental vulnerability it may also be a period in which therapeutic interventions would have the greatest positive effect.

8. Massage your baby

Massage provides wonderful stimulus and feedback to the brain. Alternate soft, all-over body massage with firmer pressure holds, working slowly down one arm, across the torso and down the opposite leg to the foot. Repeat this on both sides. This massage is great for calming the nervous system, particularly if your child is upset or over-stimulated when it is time for sleep.

9. Make sure your child is getting ample sleep

If a baby or child does not wake up easily and with energy each morning, this could indicate they are not getting enough quality sleep. As parents we often miss our child’s ‘tired cues’ and then we have great difficulty trying to put them to bed when their brain has moved back into fourth gear. A set routine for dinner and bedtime makes life easier for everyone. Start these activities well before your infant is likely to be tired and ready for sleep.

10. Be active

From an early age it is important to teach your child a range of physical activities so that they can learn to balance and coordinate their bodies. Activities like standing on one leg, hopping, skipping and walking along a beam or ledge (under supervision) are all helpful for balance, while spinning, swinging, ball games, clapping hands and cross crawling all provide wonderful brain feedback and can be introduced early.

Originally posted by

Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani

Well Adjusted

Chiropractic 101

Chiropractic 101

Every time we make an adjustment we are affecting the health of all viscera in the body. Depending on where we found and corrected the subluxation will play a part, however, we know this happens each time no matter the location of subluxation.

Every adjustment affects the hypothalamus via layer (laminae)7 of the spinal cord. And get this….the spine is the only direct influence on the hypothalamus in the entire body! A bad spine negatively and directly affects all stress hormones in the body. This is torture for the human experience if it becomes chronic!

Although you don’t have to know everything about layer 7 of the spinal cord, just know that altered mechanics (mechanoreceptors) from subluxation travels to layer 7 and synapses. This then goes to the sympathetic chain ganglia and affects a host of things there as well as up the cord into the upper brain centers for the body to process.

When we make an adjustment it is clear that the brain will immediately begin to inhibit (stop) the sympathetic dominant state and start into a parasympathetic state. You may have heard this before but I can guarantee you don’t fully know what this means for human health. It has to do with the hypothalamus and the balance of autonomic activity.

Without getting too technical, I can tell you that stress hormones begin to be reduced which sets off a cascade of positive effects in the body.

We know that the “fight or flight” behavior physiology is inhibited and the body will go from alarm & defense to growth & repair.

This is the scientific groundwork to why the latest and best studies on the influence of a chiropractic adjustment show this:

*Normalizing Blood Pressure

*Mood and Attention Improvement

*Blood Glucose efficiency– decreases insulin resistance

*Improvements and/or Reversal of neurodegenerative brain physiology (HUGE!)

*Epigenetic Changes – this changes fertility and short & long term offspring physiology

*Increase ATP – which is a “game-changer” for many reasons

*Telomere shortening – one of GREATEST “anti-aging” strategies in health today!

*Heart Disease – #1 contributor to heart disease in men and women is increased sustained sympathetic tone

*Immune System – Radically affects the immune system. Better than any marketable strategy medicine has to offer

Brain Changes

*One study noted the changes made in brain patterns and activity was more in one session than multiple weeks of standard psychological treatment made to brain!(You should know that brain-based neurophysiologists get their mind blown when they get to see the power of an adjustment on the brain!)

*Chiropractic was also shown to improve muscle strength, stability, and fatigue more in one session than 3 weeks of weight training! (Mind-Blowing!!)

Let me throw a few musculoskeletal benefits in here:

*Increases mobility and reduces Spinal Degeneration – degeneration shown to set in within 10-14 days with reduced mobility.

*5x better at musculoskeletal pain reduction than celebrex and vioxx combined (sad part here is that celebrex and vioxx together gross more $ per year ALONE than the entire chiropractic profession….the world desperately needs what we do!)

The list goes on and on. I could write every day for years and years describing the details of how powerful a chiropractic adjustment is on human health and how detrimental subluxation is to life.

-Dr. Dan Sullivan

Healing Takes Time

Patient: ‘My lower back just hurts and is stiff all the time and I feel it going down the back of my leg.’

Medical doctor: ‘You have lumbalgia with hypertonicity and radiculopathy. Here’s some pills.

Patient: ‘Genius. Thanks.”

Patient: ‘My hands hurt. My feet hurt. I just feel off all over and I get headaches.’

Doctor: ‘You have polyneuropathy. Here’s some pills’

Patient: ‘Brilliant. Thanks.’

Patient: ‘I can’t sleep. I mean, I know I’m overweight, I hate my job and my life for that matter, the only marathon I’ve ever done is on Netflix and the only fruit I eat is what’s in a Pop Tart filling.”

Doctor: ‘It’s not your fault. You have narcolepsy which is probably genetic. Here’s some pills.’

Patient: Best. doctor. ever.

Patient: ‘My neck and shoulders are always killing me. I have headaches more often than not. It’s affecting my sleep, my emotions, pretty much my life!’

Chiropractor: ‘While all of these symptoms are important, they are your body’s way of screaming at you to do something different. You live your life through your nerve system and now is the time for you to start taking care and responsibility of your health. You don’t need a pill...you need a plan of action. You are the source and solution to your health challenges and I am honored to partner with you on this journey.

Patient: ‘I don’t know about that. Let me do some research. Can’t you just give me something?’

❓Would you rather a fancy renaming of your symptoms or would you rather address the CAUSE❓

You see....lumbalgia means back pain. Hyertonicity means it’s stiff. Radiculopathy means it’s radiating.

Polyneuropathy? Poly = a lot of. Neuro= nerve. Pathy = problems. So yeah, a lot of nerve problems. Brilliant.

The most important question you AND your doctor can ask and answer is ‘WHY⁉️’

Ask WHY. 


Originally Posted by Dr. Josiah Fitzsimmons

The Big Idea

A slip on the snowy sidewalk in winter is a small thing. It happens to millions. A fall from the ladder in the summer is a small thing. It also happens to millions. The slip or fall produces a subluxation. The subluxation is a small thing. The subluxation produces pressure on a nerve. That pressure is a small thing. That decreased flowing produces a dis-eased body and brain. That is a big thing to that man. Multiply that sick man by a thousand, and you control the physical and mental welfare of a city. Multiply that man by one hundred thirty million, and you forecast and can prophesy the physical and mental status of a nation. So the slip or fall, the subluxation, pressure, flow of mental images, and dis-ease are big enough to control thoughts and actions of a nation. Now comes a man. And one man is a small thing. This man gives an adjustment. The adjustment is a small thing. The adjustment replaces the subluxation. That is a small thing. The adjusted subluxation releases pressure upon nerves. That is a small thing. The released pressure restores health to a man. This is a big thing to that man. Multiply that well man by a thousand, and you step up the physical and mental welfare of a city. Multiply that well man by a hundred thirty million, and you have produced a healthy, wealthy, and better race for posterity. So, the adjustment of the subluxation to release pressure upon nerves, to restore mental impulse flow, to restore health, is big enough to rebuild the thoughts and actions of the World. The idea that knows the cause, that can correct the cause of dis-ease, is one of the biggest ideas known. Without it, nations fall; with it, nations rise. The idea is the biggest I know of.

-B.J. Palmer