The Baby Brain Map provides an interesting resource regarding physical and psychosocial development aspects of early child development. Many of the facts which are provided by this tool are aspects of growth that had not realized. For example, the development of the brain begins a week after conception, a time where many women are not even aware that they are pregnant (NCITF, 2017). It is clear why it is important to begin behaviors such as taking prenatal vitamins and avoiding alcohol before getting pregnant, so that this very early stage of brain development is not adversely affected. Another interesting aspect of brain development which I learned from the Baby Brain Map was the importance of visual stimulation for the child between two to six months of age. It was interesting to note that it is unnecessary to spend a lot of money on things for the child to look at (NCITF, 2017). Suspending common objects is sufficient and provides to same valuable developmental stimulation. Between six and twelve months of age babies are developing the neural pathways for language processing (NCITF, 2017). This is a process of favoring some sounds over others, as children at this age can discern many more sounds than an older child or adult. The process of talking to a child helps them focus on which sounds to “learn” (NCITF, 2017). A child that is in an environment where the language at home is not the mainstream language may therefore have difficulty learning English as a second language if they do not have exposure. Conversely, by focusing only on English the child will lose the benefit of learning their maternal tongue at this stage (NCITF, 2017).These facts provide support for social workers by indicating what can be important in supporting pregnant and new mothers and their babies. Changing lifestyle prior to getting pregnant, taking prenatal vitamins before or as soon as a woman knows she is pregnant is one aspect; this can be better explained to clients by understanding how it impacts development. Further, the visual and oral stimulation a child needs is available to everyone, and a child who does not have expensive educational toys is not missing out. Providing visual and language stimulation is just a matter of including the baby in the everyday conversation and showing them everyday objects.

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  • NCITF (National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families). (2017). Zero to Three.