Set aside special play time and let your toddler be the leader in play. Talk about what she is 
doing, for example, "you are putting the cow in the barn". 
Then join her play and continue talking about what both of you are doing. This special time will allow your toddler to learn language and play skills.  Avoid asking questions or trying to direct the play.

Brain Science for Your Baby


Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., founder of Parenting Science lists the benefits of play for brain development.  


1.      Play improves memory and stimulates brain growth

2.      Play triggers secretion of BDNF which is a substance that helps neurons grow and stay            healthy

3.      Pretend play improves language

4.      Play helps with problem-solving

5.      Play helps with learning


Researchers have used the concept of play skill building in Tools of the Mind, a preschool program that uses complex play to get children to make plans and to learn "delayed gratification" practice for the part of the brain (prefrontal cortex), which is involved in self-control. Finally, play helps you learn more about your child.  When you let your child lead the play, you have a special opportunity to see the world from their point of view!  Read more


A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby
Set out some of your child's favorite toys and allow them to choose what toys to play with during your special play time.
Imitate what your child is doing during play.
Describe what they are doing but don't ask questions or tell your child what to do during the play.


A Baby Buffer Prescription for You  


Toddlers are great but sometimes exhausting! Be sure to take care of yourself by talking or visiting with a good friend. Connecting with your friends is good for your mental health and will make you a happier baby buffer!




What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Children in this age range are moving away from their "baby" stage and toward the greater world that they have never been physically able to explore before. Talking, walking and asserting their independence are the hallmarks of this stage, developmentally. Children need to explore...we just need to help them do so safely!


Gene's Research Tip

What changes the brain? Could reading to your child help brain development?

Well, a study published in the journal Brain Connectivity, looked at brain activity with functional MRI scans for 19 consecutive days, in adults who read a novel in the first 10 days of the study. The brain areas affected during and after finishing the book were compared. 


Results showed that certain areas of the brain that were activated while reading the book, continued to be active for at least several days later, as if the information absorbed had an impact on brain functioning! Read more

Baby Buffer Blog
Written by Jessica Oeth Schuttler, Ph.D. 

I am so excited to be a "guest" of Baby Buffer and share in all the great things this group is doing!


I recently had a dear friend of mine ask for my mom-psychologist opinion about some gift ideas for his sweet niece for her first Christmas. He had some great ideas - starting a savings account and some cute yet practical clothes. He asked what I thought about books as a gift for a wee one (9 month old) who wasn't yet reading. Here was my response:


I am A HUGE PROPONENT OF BOOKS as a gift at any age as both mom and psychologist. Right now, your little one could totally love looking at a board book or soft book (one with cloth or squishy pages), and a bonus is that they would be safe to go in her mouth (which lots of things do at that age).


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