A larger hippocampus through your love

Were you aware that the love you give to your baby has a direct relationship on the measurable size of your baby’s brain? Recent research has shown that the hippocampus in babies who receive a lot of attention and love from their parents can, as a result, become up to 10% bigger than babies who do not receive that love and attention!

The hippocampus is the part of our brain responsible for learning, and storing information. The hippocampus also has another function: it regulates the way in which we deal with stress. The better developed the hippocampus the better we can deal with stress. In short: all the love, cuddles and attention give your baby genuine ‘brain power’!

Spoiled too much?

Some parents are afraid of spoiling their child too much with attention and love. They think they are excessively spoiling their child. Research by the Washington University School of Medicine, however, shows that children who receive a lot of attention and love are on average smarter and have better learning abilities at a later age than those children who don’t receive that attention.

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The research studied the brain scans taken of 92 toddlers. Some scans showed the symptoms of depression and others showed brains that were mentally healthy. The healthy children appeared to have a bigger hippocampus, from which you can deduce that these children received greater amounts of motherly love.

No harm in lots of love

The researchers concluded that lots of love and attention are not at all harmful to a child. It is in fact quite the contrary. The researchers advocate that as a society we pay greater attention to how we care for our children. After all, the way we raise a child has a major effect on their development.

Giving unconditional love and support is probably the basis for raising babies and toddlers. After all, the foundations for later development are laid in the first years of life. That fear of ‘spoiling’ by giving too much attention and love is therefore unjustified according to the research.

Research: J.L. Luby, et al. 2012. “Maternal support in early childhood predicts larger hippocampal volumes at school age”.

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