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Understanding baby brain development

Introduction to ‘Baby brain development’

In this sprint you will develop the following knowledge: 

  • I can help parents think about a baby’s developing brain before it is born and explain what helps a baby’s brain to develop (womb environment). 
  • I understand and can explain how healthy brain and future mental health develop from conception. 
  • I can talk about a baby’s response to stimuli such as music, voice, rhyme, touch. 

We’re going to look at how a baby’s brain develops during pregnancy and the environment needed to support positive development.

The Urban Child Institute

Using the link above, read the webpage and make notes about how the brain develops in first, second and third trimester. 



Watch the video below about how a baby’s brain develops through early experiences. 


Develop your understanding of ‘Baby brain development’

We’ve provided an introduction to baby development during pregnancy, you’re now going to explore this further.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Using the link above, read through the webpage and make notes about the different factors that affect brain development. This will build upon the knowledge you have already gained in this self-study pack.  



Watch the video below to learn more about the role music plays in a child’s growth.


Reflect upon ‘Baby brain development’


  • Using the link above, use the webpage to find out more about:
    • How peekaboo can help babies learn 
    • Is speaking in baby talk good for language learning? 
    • Can you get a baby to babble more? 

National Library of Medicine

Using the link above, read through the webpage and make notes on the effects of physical contact on infants and their caregivers. 


Further Information

The Urban Child Institute

In the video below, Dr. Pat Levitt discusses the research showing that early life experiences influence social, emotional and learning skills, and how these skills come together to help children succeed in the real world and how healthy brain architecture provides the resilience to deal with adversity experienced during the first years of life.