Encourage Movement
Toddlers develop movement skills that are building blocks for more complex movement tasks, and these early movement experiences are critical to optimal brain development. Motor skills enhance our lives at all ages, and a positive attitude about regular physical activity sets the foundation for a lifetime of good health. 
In addition to developing the motor system, movement is a very effective learning tool. Through movement, toddlers increase their ability to problem-solve, think critically, and reinforce a variety of academic concepts.

Brain Science for Your Baby

Your toddler's brain cells are connected to each other by "synapses".  These connections are important because they make "circuits" that transmit the information the brain needs to control movement, thinking, feeling, learning, and language.  Physical activity leads to more synapses.  
And movement allows exploring - which leads to more synapses. Synapses that are used get stronger. Those that aren't used get weaker or are "pruned" away - in other words - how the brain is built depends on experience - it's "use it or lose it"!  That's why you'll see your toddler get better at walking and running and climbing - and with talking and thinking the more he does it!  


A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby
  • Provide your toddler with movement activities that introduce basic gross motor skills such as striking, kicking, catching, and bouncing balls of different sizes and shapes.   
  • Get your baby's blood pumping with jumping, dancing, and running. This feeds blood to the brain so that it can make all of those important connections that it's working on now. 

A baby Buffer Prescription for You  


  • Make time in your day for at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity for your toddler and at least 60 minutes and up to several hours per day of daily, unstructured physical activity. For their best health, your toddler should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping.



What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Your toddlers movements have an impact on their developing brain!  Click on the links below to read about the kinds of movements and skills that your toddler should be doing now.

Baby Buffer Blog
Cathy Smith, PhD


New Year's Resolution

Now that the presents are un-wrapped, the cookies are eaten and the guests are all gone, it is time to get back to everyday life. I love the holidays, but I also look forward to the feeling of calm and routine that January brings. I 'm not usually one for New Year's resolutions but this January I am striving to be "present" and "in the moment." Giving others your full attention when you are with them lets them know they are important and worth your time. It helps to build strong relationships. Being "present" with your children is really important, no matter how old they might be. When my youngest child was a baby, she would use her hands to physically turn my head towards her, so that I would stop whatever I was doing, and pay attention to her! That was a pretty clear sign that she wanted and needed my attention. Not all babies are that persistent but all babies do need you to be "present" as much as possible.

Read full blog by Cathy Smith, PhD 


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