While the baby is in the mother’s womb, the brain is the center of phenomenal activity, and as many as 500,000 cells form every minute. The brain of a newborn contains 100 billion cells. In the first year of life, the brain grows at a much faster rate than it will at any other time during the entire lifetime.
By six months of age, the infant’s brain is half the weight of the adult brain. It grows to 70% by the end of one year, and a staggering 90% by three years of age. The majority of brain growth occurs in the first three years of life, especially in the first year. This therefore makes the first three years of life, and more importantly the first year, the most crucial and precious time for intelligent and proper nurturing of the rapidly growing brain.
The 100 billion nerve cells will form trillions of connections with one another in the first three years of life. It is through these connections that cells are able to communicate and integrate the functioning of the various vital senses. Without these connections, it would be impossible for a human being to function.
Connections between nerve cells slow down considerably after the first three years of life. The quantity and the quality of these connections will depend entirely on the amount, and the intensity of the stimulation that the brain will
It is important to remember that after about one and half years of age, neural connections that are not being used properly and in an intelligent manner will begin to die gradually. Only those connections that are being nourished, nurtured and reinforced will flourish and thrive. Good quality stimulation and proper training of the brain is absolutely essential in the first few years of life.
While the brain is growing at a fast pace there are periods of learning called “The Critical Windows of Opportunities.”
Critical windows exist for all the important senses, and they are periods during which learning takes place at a very fast speed and with effortless ease. During this time, whatever information is laid down in the brain will never be forgotten.
The Critical Windows of Opportunities for vital senses such as vision, hearing, speech and language have certain important time frames, when they open one by one.
This happens in the first few months of life. Later, these windows of opportunities will close, one by one, and in a particular order. We must take advantage of these critical windows while they are open because once closed shut, they will not open again.
"Every Second is Important, And Every Second Counts"