It’s no wonder that constantly moving infants and toddlers wear out their parents. As Conor P. Williams, the dad of a baby and a toddler, writes at Ed Central, a New America Foundation blog: These busy babies have even busier brains that are forming 700 new neural pathways per second.
“Like most young parents of very young children, my wife and I are only barely keeping up with these two creatures that have a combined age that is still younger than most of the T-shirts in my dresser,” Williams writes.
“This is the paradox of young children,” Williams explains. On the one hand “they are weak, incomplete beings just learning the basics of being alive.” But on the other hand, developing infants and toddlers “display patience, resilience and flexibility well beyond adults’ capacities.”
The good news about these mile-a-minute children is that they’re teaching neuroscientists and policymakers about the importance of early brain development — and how crucial it is for children to get needed stimulation before the age of four. (more…)