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Recommended reading The importance of the early years Stages: Birth to 2 months Stages: 3 to 6 months

During the early years, the brain is hard-wired and the foundation is laid for how a person will feel, think and behave for the rest of their life.

The Importance of the Early Years video clipOpens in new window contains useful background information for those who support parents through the early years and for the parents themselves.

It emphasises some important messages about brain development and how parents can help.

Learn directly from the experts

The video is introduced by media personality Jude Dobson, and features professor Sir Peter Gluckman, Lauren Porter (Clinical Social Worker) and Dr Simon Rowley (Paediatrician). So, you’ll hear about the mechanics of brain development and attachment from the experts.

They talk about what’s going on in a baby’s brain, what the baby needs from parents, and stress the importance of having an adult who loves and cares for the baby.

There’s also emphasis on the fact that it’s during the everyday ‘care moments’ that one can really make an impact on a baby’s brain development.

Top 10 tips and messages from the video

 1. Cuddle your baby.

 2. Talk to your baby.

 3. Read to your baby.

 4. Smile at your baby.

 5. Give your baby time.

 6. Give your baby attention and respond to their needs.

 7. Allow children to play.

 8. Allow children to ask questions.

 9. Allow children to explore.

 10. Enjoy the journey and have fun!

This clip is part of a suite of information on parenting, from newborns through to the end of the primary years to be found on The Raising Children in New Zealand website.  Parents can sign on to the web site to access the full range of information.




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